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of the 


akima Valle 



Yakima, Kittitas and Benton 








In presenting this work to the public the author desires to make acknowledg- 
ments to the man}- in different parts of the field whose assistance in the collection 
of data has been indispensable to accuracy and interest. Special mention is due 
to members of the Advisory Board. Inasmuch as a little change has occurred 
since the issuance of the prospectus, it is proper to name here the members of 
the Board as finally settled. They include Messrs. A. E. Larson, H. J. .Snively, 
F. C. Hall, Fred Parker, A. W. Cofifin, David Longmire, L. V. McWhorter, of 
Yakima ; Prof. Selden Smyser, Miss Mary A. Grupe, Mrs. J. B. Davidson, Oliver 
Hinman, Hon. Austin Mires and Judge Ralph Kauffman, of Ellensburg; 
Messrs. A. G. jMcNeill and G. W. Hamilton, of Prosser; Messrs. L. E. Johnson, 
J. J. Rudkin, E. M. Sly and A. R. Gardner, of Kennewick. 

To the intelligent and helpful cooperation of these advisers a great debt of 
thankfulness is due. Gratitude is also owed to those who have contributed special 
articles for the last chapter, that of "Recollections." These articles, as well as 
the n.imes of the authors, speak for themselves. After reading them, the readers 
will unquestionably add their thanks to our own for these essential additions to 
the value and interest of the book. 

Others have added data and suggestions of great value, and to them we 
make our acknowledgments in the body of the work. We wish, however, -to 
include here the name of Mr. Gerrit d'Ablaing, of Ellensburg, as having .provided 
a large amount of invaluable material in written form. 

.Special note may be made of the hearty cooperation of the newspaper men 
all over the field. Every newspaper in the three counties ha' been consuhed. 
They and their publishers and editors appear in full in the chapter on "The 
Press of the Yakima Valley," and need not be particularized here. Specific 
mention may be made, however, of files of the earliest Yakima and Ellensburg 
papers loaned by Mr. C. B. Bagley, of Seattle, some of them probably the only 
copies in existence, part of what is doubtless the most complete collection of 
ne\vs]5aper files in the State. 

The author desires also to include in his note of thanks the valuable aid of 
his wife in reading and correcting manuscript and proofs, and thus greatly expe- 
ilitin.t; the preparation of the work. 

It may be added that, in the conception of the author, a work of this nature 
must deal with the great vital general features of growth and development 
rather than with the minutiae of special interests. He has. therefore, avoided the 
encyclopedic method of treatment into which local histories sometimes fall. A 
work of this kind cannot, in his judgment, be a gazetteer or a volume of statistics. 
The end sought has rather been a portrayal of the great working forces, which, 
throughout the West — and in this instance in the Yakima A'alley— have planted 

iv Preface. 

Americaii civilization in the wilderness and transformed the desert into the 
realms of beauty and productiveness which compose the scene of our story. 

It will be observed that a topical method of arrangement has been followed. 

In the opinion of the author this is conducive to distinctness and unity of 
impression. It involves a few repetitions. These, it is believed, will not be a 
blemish, but will rather enhance the force of the connections of the different 
phases of the story. 

Grand and beautiful in its natural features, the Yakima Valley has become 
inspiring by its exemplification of the results of the industrj' and intelligence of 
its inhabitants. We leave it, therefore, in this good year of 1918, in the full 
assurance that its development, great as it is, has but begim. 







































:KER-STEVENS controversy — war chiefs of THE INDIANS — THE CAYUSE 







1855 222 













































herald's description of events. ETC. 454 































VENTION, 1898 — Bryan's visit — woman suffrage — constitutional amend- 
ments — election of 1914 — election of 1916 — election of 1918 — later 

general history of county — irrigation — cascade irrigation district 

summary of engineer's report on canal improvements — special meet- 
ing, board of county commissioners — RAILROADS — BUILDING THE C. M. & 















5. 1918 643 







































1883 TO 1889 SCHOOLS irrigation and developments BUSINESS 





















History of Yakima Valley 







The Yakima \'allcy is the largest valley in the state of Washington, except 
that of the Columbia itself, to which it is tributary, and is equalled in area only 
by the valleys of the Willamette and Snake in the entire Northwest. For physical 
interest and charm, as well as for fertility of soil and extent and variety of 
resources, it has no superior in all that remarkable region which composes the 
Northwest. It is probable that a larger percentage of this valley can be made 
productive, when brought under irrigation, than that of any other part of the 
Northwest. The amount of waste land is relatively very small, except in so far 
as the aridity of the climate under natural conditions compels recourse to artificial 

In general terms, it may be said that the region encompassed by the water 
shed of the Yakima and its tributaries, bounded on the south by the branches of 
the Klickitat and on the north by those of the Wenatchee, embraces an area from 
the lakes at the head of the river to the Columbia, of about 170 miles in length 
by an average of sixty-five miles in breadth. To one flying in an airship and 
looking down upon this vast area, it would present a singular appearance. It 
has no counterpart in the entire Northwest. It has a characteristic topography 
which differentiates it from any other part of the country. Since the history 
and development of this region is the natural sequence of this topography, it is 
interesting to dwell upon it for a space. The peculiar characteristic is found in 
the fact that here is a series of level valleys, separated by a regular series of sharp 
ridges and connected by gaps through which the river and its tributaries have 
forced their way. Level valleys, ridges, and gaps compose the physical structure 
of the Yakima \'alley. From the mouth of the river upward, the whole area 
is almost like an arm, with the fingers of a hand extended into the ridges branch- 


ing out from the Cascade Mountains upon the west. Every tributary of the 
Yakima of any account arises in the Cascade Mountains or its spurs. The main 
stream itself issues from the three splendid lakes — Keechelus, Kaches and Cle 
Elum — with several smaller ones lying in the eastern flanks of the great range, 
at an elevation of something less than 2,500 feet. The upper tributaries are the 
Teanaway and Swauk on the north, and the Manashtash and Taneum on the 
south. The Naches, the chief affluent of the Yakima, almost parallels the main 
river, as it in turn curiously parallels the Columbia itself. A number of tribu- 
taries enter the Naches, making of it a powerful stream not much inferior to 
the main stream at the point of junction. The Bumping River, issuing from the 
lake of the same name, at an elevation of 3,395 feet, conveys a strong volume 
to the Naches, which is still further augmented by the swift inrush of the Tieton. 
Both the Bumping and the Tieton draw their unfailing supplies from the towering 
heights of the great Cascades, and by reason of this, as well as their relations to 
the intervening ridges and plains below, they have become of the utmost impor- 
tance in the irrigation systems of the valley. The Wenas, above the Naches, and 
the Cowiche, the lowest tributary of the Naches, are small streams, not reaching 
into the high mountains, but having played a very interesting and important part 
in the life of the country. 

The first stream entering the Yakima below the Naches is the Ahtanum, 
coming directly from the west, and though not a large stream, having been asso- 
ciated with every phase of the life of Yakima. Passing the mouth of the Ahtanum 
and Union Gap, we find a group of related creeks, draining the vast expanses of 
the Yakima Indian Reservation, the Sinicoe, Toppenish and the Satus, with 
several smaller tributaries. 

With this basis of .alternating valleys and ridges the Yakima \"alley is 
discovered to consist of a series of distinct sections, interrelated and each consti- 
tuting an entity of its own. Highest of all and immediately adjoining the lake 
region, upon the flanks of the mountains, is the comparatively narrow and par- 
tially timbered valley between Cle Elum and Thorp, the upper part of which is 
the natural outlet for the vast Roslyn coal fields, and the lower part of which 
contains the beginnings of the fertile plains, which occur next in order. The next 
section is the Kittitas Valley, a circular valley of about thirty miles in diameter, 
beautiful and fertile, fanned by the cool breezes of the snowy peaks, to give a 
materially lower temperature than that of the lower valleys. Below the Kittitas 
\'alley comes the long Yakima canon caused by the Manastash and Umptanum 
ridges, a ragged mass of basaltic rock, completely isolating the Kittitas \'alley 
from the lower prolongations of the valley, and composing the only large section 
mainly incapable of cultivation. Twenty miles of this ragged mountain section, 
and the heights suddenly widen into the broad expanses of the next section, that 
of Selah and the Wenas. This section is closed in turn by the Naches and 
Yakima ridges, and these ridges are broken by the next of those curious gaps, 
this being at the junction of the Naches and the Yakima. The intercepting barrier 
at this point is very narrow, and the next of the low, level, valley areas, that of 
the Ahtanum, on the west and the Moxee on the east, side of the river, stretches 
for many miles, emphasized by the undulating slight elevations which compose 


the very hub of the valley and include the metropolis of the whole, the city of 
Yakima and its environs. 'LoGB^/''^ 

This central section is closed in again by the inevitable ridges, those of me 
Ahtanum and Moxee, which in turn have been carved open by the impetuous 
river at Union Gap, properly known as Pahotacute or Pahquytekoot. Below 
this gap, just as inevitable as the ridge and the river, comes the next section, 
the largest expanse of level land in the entire state of Washington, the areas 
of the Simcoe, Toppenish, Satus, and their tributaries on the south side of the 
river, which here takes an easterly course, and on the north side of the vast 
areas of the Zillah, Outlook, Sunnyside, Grandview and Rattlesnake sections. 
This immense stretch of level land is curiously broken in the very center by 
the apparently wholly superfluous ridge of Snipes Mountain, as though there 
was just that much more material than the earth forces knew what to do with 
and so they dumped it in parallel with the river. Even though marring some- 
what the grand totality of level surface in this middle and lower Yakima sec- 
tion. Snipes Mountain afifords a picturesque element of variety and provides 
also a "Nob Hill" for Sunnyside and fertile slopes which under irrigation will 
some day be among the most valuable lands of the valley. Below Kiona and 
Benton City the great central valley is partially closed in again with a some- 
what broken section of rocky land, though not of great height. On the south 
steeper declivities ascend to the great plateau of tlie Horse Heaven country, 
while on the north long slopes of gradually rising land swell upward to the 
Rattlesnake Mountains. These two areas bounding the Valley on either side 
are wheat sections, dry farming, but the lower slopes of the Rattlesnake will 
be covered by the proposed "high line" canal, and the Horse Heaven is a nearly 
level plateau, which will be irrigable some time by water from the Klickitat, 
another system from that of the Yakima. The last section of all in this diver- 
sified and richly resourceful valley, and what perhaps may be numbered as the 
seventh in the series of distinctive features, is the eastern frontage including 
the portion adjoining the Yakima River from the "Horn" to its mouth, together 
with the long strip from Priest Rapids of the Columbia on the north to the 
Umatilla Highlands on the south, a distance of about seventy miles along the 
Columbia. This Yakima-Columbia section has such distinctive features as to 
make it another world apart, and it all comes within the limits of Benton County. 
Having navigable water along the entire eastern margin, embracing the lofty 
height of Rattlesnake Mountains and several other treeless elevations, having 
thousands of acres which need only water to repeat the miracles of the older 
parts of the Yakima country, and having a climate of such high average 
warmth as to border on the semi-tropical, and in fact having already nearly 
rivalled California in date of entrance into the early fruit and vegetable mar- 
ket, — this last section may be regarded as the great undeveloped region, wait- 
ing for capital and labor to create a genuine American homeland of high order. 
In the Rattlesnake Mountains is one feature, unique in character, not yet sufifi- 
ciently developed to make safe prophecy, but which in the judgment of many 
competent men may become the foundation of tremendous industrial power in 
the future. We refer to the gas and oil area. This region, known to cattle- 
men for many years before attracting attention to its industrial possibilities. 


seems to denote a separate geological history from that of other parts of the 
Yakima Valley. 

Such may be regarded as a general view of the topography of the land 
covered by this work. Occupying so considerable a section of the water shed of 
the great Cascade Range on its eastern frontage, it necessarily follows that the 
springs which feed its rivers have perpetual sources of supply in the snows 
and glaciers of those lofty heights. About the headwaters of the Yakima and 
Naches and their affluents are vast forests, second only to those on the western 
slopes. In those great cordons of mountains are found, too, many indications 
of mineral wealth, though as yet there has not been large development, except 
in coal. 

One has but to glance at a map to know at once that the upper Yakima 
must be a land of scenic grandeur. We are not content to rely upon maps to 
to tell the story, but must needs go and see. The two highest mountains of the 
state, Adams and Takhoma (or Rainier), are within sight from many points 
in the Yakima Valley. The former is nearer and is located in the southwest 
corner of Yakima County. It is the dominating feature of the western land- 
scape at every elevated point in the valley, and can be seen from every unob- 
structed window on the west side of all the high buildings in the city of Yakima. 
One of the pictures in this volume presents one of the finest views of Adams, 
that from the Sunnyside Canal with the foreground of a typical irrigated sec- 
tion. Other views in this volume, designed especially to illustrate the develop- 
ment of the system of irrigation, give also a conception of that sublime margin 
of regal mountains which sunder the western and the central parts of the state 
of Washington. It is needless to state that the inhabitants of a region favored, 
as those of Yakima are, with accessible scenic retreats and great play grounds 
afforded by the Cascade Mountains, with their lakes and streams, their game 
and fish, must have the camping out habit and taste fully developed. The 
native sons and daughters of Yakima, and even newcomers, taste these wilder- 
ness delights to the full. There is plenty of room. It is wild nature all around, 
wholesome and life-giving. The author has made several trips to Mount 
Adams and as expressing his sense of these features of nature which imixirt 
such a zest to life in this region he is including some observations here of past 
journeys and the characteristic experiences which so fascinate any one who 
has ever been in the mountains of central Washington. It is of interest to note 
that at time of writing this work a movement has been initiated by the Yakima 
Commercial Club to induce the Federal Government to establish a National park 
around and including Mount Adams. 

Around Mount Adams is a region of caves. As one rides through the 
open glades he may often hear the ground rumble beneath his horse's hoofs. 
Mouths of Avemus yawn on every side. Some caverns have sunken in, leav- 
ing serpentine ravines. One cave has been traced three miles. Some of these 
caves are partially filled with ice. There is one in particular, fifteen miles 
southwest of the mountain, which is known as Ice Cave. This is very small, 
not over four hundred feet long, but it is a marvel of unique beauty. Its ex- 
ternal appearance is that of a huge well, at whose edge are bunches of nodding 
flowers, and from whose dark depths issue sudden chilly gusts. Descending 


by means of a knotty young tree which previous visitors have let down, we find 
ourselves on a floor of ice. The glare of pitchpine torches reveals a weird and 
beautiful scene. A perfect forest of icicles of both the stalactite and stalagmite 
forms fills the cave. They are from ten to fifteen feet in length and from one 
to three feet in diameter. From some points of view they look like silvered 

These caves have been formed in some cases by chambers of steam or 
bubbles in the yet pasty rock which hardened enough to maintain their form 
upon the condensation of the vapor. Others were doubtless produced by a tongue 
of lava as it collected slag and hardened rock upon its moving edge, rising up 
and curling over like a breaker on the sand. Only the "cave of flint" instead of 
turning into a "retreating cloud" had enough solid matter to sustain an arch 
and so became permanent. Others were no doubt formed by pyroducts. A 
tongi'.e of flowing lava hardens on the surface. The interior remains fluid. It 
may continue running until the tongue is all emptied, leaving a cavern. Such 
a cavern, whose upper end reaches the cold air of the mountains, might be like 
a chimney, down which freezing air would descend, turning into ice the water 
that trickled into the cave, even at the lower end. 

For sport, the region about Mount Adams is unsurpassed. The elk, three 
kinds of deer, the magnificent mule deer, the black-tail, and the graceful little 
white-tail, two species of bear, the cinnamon and black, the daring and ubiqui- 
tous mountain goat, quail, grouse, pheasants, ducks, cranes, are among the 
attractions to the hunter. Of late years great bands of sheep have driven the 
game somewhat from the south and east sides. In the grassy glades that en- 
circle the snowy pile of Adams no vexatious undergrowth impedes the gallop 
of our fleet cayuse pony or obscures our vision. On the background of fragrant 
greenery the "dun deer's hide" is thrown with statuesque distinctness, and 
among the low trees the whirring grouse is easily discerned. Nor is the dis- 
ciple of Nimrod alone considered. After our hunt we may move to Trout 
Lake, and here the very ghost of the lamented Walton might come as to a 
paradise. Trout Lake is a shallow pool half a mile in length, encircled with 
pleasant groves and grassy glades, marred now, however, by the encroachment 
of ranches. Into it there come at intervals from the ice-cold mountain inlet 
perfect shoals of the most gamey and delicious trout. On rafts, or the two or 
three rude skiffs that have been placed there, one may find all piscatorial joys 
and may abundantly supply his larder free of cost. A few ranches here and 
there furnish accommodations for those who are too delicate to rest on the 
bosom of Mother Earth. But no extended trip can be taken without com- 
mitting oneself to the wilderness delights of sleeping with star-dials for roof 
and flickering camp-fire for hearth. And what healthy human being would 
exchange those for the feverish, pampered life of the modern house? Let us 
have the barbarism, and with it the bounding pulses and exuberant life of the 

But now, with stomachs and knapsacks filled, and with that pervasive 
sense of contentment which characterizes the successful hunter and angler, we 
must drive up our cayuse ponies from their pastures on the rich grass of the 
open woods, saddle up, and then ofif for the mountain, whose giant form now 


overtops the very clouds. About two miles from Trout Lake the trail crosses 
the White Salmon, and we find ourselves at the foot of the mountain. For 
eight miles we follow a trail through open woods, park-like, with huge pines 
at irregular intervals, and vivid grass and flowers between, a fair scene, the 
native home of every kind of game. 

As we journey on delightedly through these glades, rising, terrace after 
terrace, we can read the history- of the mountain in the rock beneath our feet 
and the expanding plains and hills below. All wilhin the ancient amphitheatre 
is volcanic. There are four main summits, a central dome, vast, symmetrical, 
majestic, pure-white against the blue-black sky of its unsullied height. The 
three other peaks are broken crags of basalt, leaning as for support against the 
mighty mass at the center. Around the snow-line of the mountain many minor 
cones have been blown up. These have the most gaudy and brilliant coloring, 
mainly yellow and vermilion. One on the southeast is especially noticeable. 
From a deep canon it rises two thousand feet as steep as broken scoriae can lie. 
The main part is bright red, sunnounted by a circular cliff of black rock. 
Probably the old funnel of the crater became filled with black rock, which, cool- 
ing, formed a solid core. The older material around it having crumbled away, 
it remains a solid shaft. 

But fire has not wrought all the wonders of the mighty peak. Ice has been 
most active. The mountain was once completely girdled with glaciers. Rocks 
are scratched and grooved five miles below the present snow-line. The ridges 
are strewn with planed rocks and glacial shavings and course sand. Some of 
the monticules on the flanks of the mountain have been partially cut away. Many 
have been entirely obliterated. But the ice has now greatly receded. Instead 
of a complete enswathement of ice there are some six or seven distinct glaciers, 
separated by sharp ridges, while the region formerly the chief home of the ice 
is now a series of Alpine meadows. Like most of the snow peaks, Mount 
Adams is rudely terraced, and the terraces are separated into compartments 
by ridges, forming scores and hundreds of glades and meads. In some of these 
are cirailar ponds, from a few square rods to several acres in area. These 
lakes are found by the hundred around the mountain and in the region north 
of it. They are one of the charms and wonders of the country. About most 
of them tall grass crowds to the very edge of the water. Scattered trees diver- 
sify the scene. Throughout these glades flow innmnerable streams, descending 
from level to level in picturesque cascades, and composed of water so cold and 
sparkling that the very memory of it cools the after thirst. Sometimes the 
tough turf grows clear over, making a verdant tunnel through which "the 
tinkling waters slip." Here and there streams spout full-grown from frowning 

But we are not content to stand below and gaze "upward to that height." 
We must needs ascend. In climbing a snow peak a great deal depends on making 
camp at a good height and getting a very early start. By a little searching one 
may find good camping jjlaces at an elevation of seven thousand or even eight 
thousand feet altitude. This leaves only four thousand or five thousand feet 
to climb on the great day, and by starting at about four o'clock a party may 
have sixteen hours of daylight. This is enough, if there be no accidents, to 


enable any sound man of average muscle, — or woman either, if she be properly 
dressed for it, — to gain the mighty dome of Adams. 

At the time of our last ascent we camped high on a great ridge on the 
south side of the mountain, having for shelter a thick copse of dwarf firs. So 
fiercely had the winds of centuries swept this exposed point that the trees did 
not stand erect, but lay horizontal from west to east. 

With pulses bounding from the exhilarating air, and our whole systems 
glowing with the exercise and the wild game of the preceding week, we stretch 
ourselves out for sleep, while the stars blaze from infinite heights, and our 
uneasy camp-fire strives fitfully with the icy air which at nightfall always slides 
down the mountain side. 

Sweet sleep till midnight, and then we found ourselves awake all at once 
with a unanimity which at first we scarcely understood, but which a moment's 
observation made clear enough. A regular mountain gale had suddenly 
broken upon us. It had waked us up by nearly blowing us out of bed. Our 
camp-fire was aroused to newness of life by the gale, and the huge fire-brands 
flew down the mountain side, igniting pitchy thickets, until a fitful glare illu- 
minated the lonely and savage grandeur of the scene. The whole sky seemed 
in motion. Then a cloud struck us. Night, glittering as she was a moment 
before with her tiaras of stars, was suddenly transformed into a dull, whitish 
blur. The vapor formed at once into thick drops on the trees and was precipi- 
tated in turn on us. Occasional sleet and snowflakes struck us with almost the 
sting of flying sand when we ventured to peep out. Covering ourselves up, 
heads and all, we crowded against each other and grimly went to sleep. 

We woke again, chattering with cold, to find it perfectly calm. The morn- 
ing star was blazing over the spot where day was about to break. The sky 
was absolutely clear, not a mote on its whole concavity. The wind had swept 
and burnished it. The mountain towered above us cold and sharp as a crystal. 
There was a still, solemn majesty about it in the keen air and early light which 
struck us with a thrill of fear. The light just before daybreak is far more exact 
than the scarlet splendor of morning or the blinding blaze of noon. The world 
below us was a level set of clouds. We seemed to be on an island of snow and 
rock, or on a small planetoid winging its own way in space. Yet beyond the 
puncturing top of a few of the Simcoe peaks a wavering line that just touched 
the glowing eastern sky, told of clear weather a hundred leagues up the basin 
of the Columbia. Out of the ocean of cloud, the great peaks of Hood and St. 
Helens rose, cold and white, like icebergs on an Arctic sea. 

Cofifee, ham and hardtack and then out on the ice and snow, just as the 
first warm flush of morning is gilding the mighty mass above us. The snow, 
hardened by the freezing morning, affords excellent footing, and in the sharp, 
bracing air we feel capable of any effort. We gain the summit of a bright red 
knob, one of the secondary volcanoes that girdle the mountain. At its peak 
are purple stones piled up like an altar, as indeed it is, though the incense from 
it is not of human kindling. The sun is not fairly up, but from below the hori- 
zon it splits the hemisphere of the sky into a hundred segments by its auroral 
flashes. And now we begin to climb a volcanic ridge, rising like a huge stair- 
way, with blocks of stone as large as a piano. This is a tongue of lava, very 


recent, insomuch that it shows no glacial markings, and yet enough soil has 
accumulated upon it to support vegetation. It can be seen, a dull red river, 
three hundred yards wide, extending far down the mountain side. How well 
the old Greek poet described the process that must have taken place here: 
"jEtna, pillar of heaven, nurse of snow, with fountains of fire; a river of fire, 
bearing down rocks with a crashing sound to the deep sea." 

The ridge becomes very steep, at an angle of probably thirty-five or forty 
degrees, and we climb on all fours from one rock to another. At last we draw 
ourselves up a huge wedge of phonolite and find ourselves at the summit of the 
first peak. Six hundred yards beyond, muffled in white silence, rises the great 
dome. It is probably five hundred feet higher than the first peak. To reach 
it we climb a bare, steep ridge of shaly, frost-shattered rock, in which we sink 
ankle deep, a difficult and even painful task with the labored breathing of twelve 
thousand feet altitude. 

But patience conquers, and at about noon, seven hours and a half from the 
time of starting, w^e stand on the very tip of the mountain. Ten minutes pant- 
ing in the cold wind and then we are ready to look around. Within the circle 
of our vision is an area for an empire. Northward is a wilderness of moun- 
tains. High above all, Mount Rainier lifts his white crown unbroken to the 
only majesty above him, the sky. The western horizon, more hazy than the 
eastern, is punctuated by the smooth dome and steely glitter of Mount St. 
Helen's. Far southward, across a wilderness of broken heights, rises the 
sharp pinnacle of Mount Hood, and far beyond that, its younger brother, Jeffer- 
son. Still beyond are the Alpine peaks of the Three Sisters, nearly two hun- 
dred miles distant. Our vision sweeps a circle whose diameter is probably five 
hundred miles. Far westward the white haze betokens the presence of the sea. 
A deep blue Hne northwestward, far beyond the smooth dome of St. Helens, 
stands for Puget Sound. Numerous lakes gleam in woody solitudes. 

Having looked around, let us now Jook down. On the eastern side the 
mountain breaks ofif in a monstrous chasm of probably four thousand feet, 
most of it perpendicular. This is the face toward Yakima. We crawl as we 
draw near it. Lying down in turn, secured by ropes held behind, fearful as 
much of the mystic attraction of the abyss as of the slippery snow, we peep 
over the awful verge. Take your turn, gentle reader, if you would know what 
it seems to gaze down almost a mile of nearly perpendicular distance. Points 
of rock jut out from the pile and eye us darkly. That icy floor nearly a mile 
below us is the Klickitat glacier. From beneath it a milk-white stream issues 
and crawls oflf amid the rocky desolation. At the very edge of the great preci- 
pice stands a cone of ice a hundred feet high. Green, blue, yellow, red and 
golden, the colors play with the circling sunbeams on its slippery surface, until 
one is ready to believe that here is where rainbows are made. We roll some 
rocks from a wind-swept point, and then shudder to see them go. They are lost 
to the eye, as is their noise to the ear, long before they cease to roll. Silence 
reigns. There is no echo. The thin air makes the voice sound weak. Our 
loudest shouts are brief bubbles of noise in the infinite space. A pistol shot 
is only a pufT of powder. Even the rocks we set ofT are swallowed up and we 
get no response but the first reluctant clank as they grind the lip of the preci- 


pice. Nor do we care much for boisterous sounds. We are impelled rather to 
silence and worship. 

But now once more to earth and camp! For pure exhilaration, commend 
me to descending a snow peak. For a good part of Mount Adams one may 
descend in huge jumps through the loose scoriae and volcanic ashes. Some of 
the way one may slide on the crusty snow, a perfect whiz of descent. How 
the thin wind cuts past us, and how our frames glow with the dizzy speed! 
Such a manner of descent is not altogether safe. As we are going in one place 
with flying jumps on the softening snow, a chasm suddenly appears before us. 
It looks ten feet wide, and how deep, no one could guess. To stop is out of the 
question. We make a wild bound and clear it, catching a momentary glance 
into the bluish-green crack as we fly across. We make the descent in an in- 
credibly short time, only a little more than an hour, whereas it took us over 
seven hours to ascend. And then the rest and mighty feasts of camp, and the 
abundant and mountainous yarns, and the roaring camp-fire, whose shadows 
flicker on the solemn snow-fields, until the stars claim the heavens, and, while 
the wailing cry of the cougars rises from a jungle far below us, we sleep and 
perform again in dreams the day's exploits. 

Of all scenes in connection with Mount Adams, the most remarkable in all 
the experiences of those who witnessed it, and one of those rare combinations 
which the sublimest aspects of nature afford, was at the time of the outing of 
the Mazama Club in 1902. The party had reached the summit in a dense fog, 
cold, bitter, forbidding, and nothing whatever to be seen. All was dull, whit- 
ish blur. In the bitter chill the enthusiasm of some of the climbers evaporated 
and they turned away down the snowy waste. Others remained in the hope of 
a vanishing of the cloud-cap. And suddenly their hopes were realized. A mar- 
velous transformation scene was unveiled like the lifting of a vast curtain. 
The cloud-cap was split asunder. The great red and black pinnacles of the 
summit sprung forth from the mist like the first lines in a developing photo- 
graphic plate. Then the glistening tiaras and thrones of ice and snow caught 
the gleams of the unveiled sun, and lo, there we stood in mid-heaven, seem- 
ingly upon an island in space, with no earth about us, just the sun and the sky 
above and a great swaying ocean of fog below. But now suddenly that ocean 
of fog was rent and split. The ardent sun burned and banished it away. Moun- 
tain peak after peak caught the glory. Range after range seemed to rise and 
stand in battle array. The transformation was complete. A moment before we 
were swathed in the densest cloud-cap, blinded with the fog. Now we were 
standing on a mount of transfiguration, with a new world below us. Every 
vestige of smoke or fog was gone. We could see the shimmer of the ocean to 
the west, the glistening bands of Puget Sound and the Columbia. Far east- 
ward the plains of the Inland Empire lay palpitating in the July sun. The 
whole long line of the great snow-peaks of the Cascades were there revealed, 
the farthest a mere speck, yet distinctly discernible, two hundred miles distant. 
One unaccustomed to the mountains would not believe it possible that such an 
area could be caught within the vision from a single point. 

It may be understood that the description of one of our great snowpeaks 
is, in general terms, a description of all. With every one there are the same 


azure skies, the same snow-caps, the same crevassed and glistening rivers of 
ice, the same long ridges with their intervening grassy and flowery meads, 
purling streams, and reflecting lakes. With the name of each there rises before 
Mazama or Mountaineer, the remembrance of the camp of clouds or stars upon 
the edge of snow-bank, the sound of the bugle at two o'clock in the morning 
•of the great climb, the hastily swallowed breakfast of coffee and ham, while 
climbers stand shivering around the flickering morning fire, the approaching 
day with its banners of crimson behind the heights, the daubing of faces with 
grease-paint and the putting on of goggles, amid shouts of laughter from each 
at the grotesque and picturesque ugliness of all the others, then the hastily 
grasped alpenstocks, the forming in line, and at about four o'clock, while the 
first rays of the sun are gilding the summit, the word of command and the be- 
ginning of the march. 

Each great peak has its zones, so significant that each seems a world in 
itself. There is first the zone of summer with its fir and cedar forests at the 
base of the peak, from a thousand feet to twenty-five hundred above sea-level. 
In the case of most of our great peaks this zone consists of long gentle slopes 
and dense forests, with much undergrowth, though on the eastern sides there 
are frequently wide-open spaces of grassy prairie. Then comes the zone of pine 
forest and summer stra'wberry, with its fragrant air and long glades of grass 
.and open aisles of columned trees, "God's first temples," pellucid streams bab- 
bling over pebbles and white sands, and occasionally falling in cascades over 
ledges of volcanic rock. This zone rises in terraces which attest the ancient 
lava flow, at an increasing grade over the first, though at most points one might 
still drive a carriage through the open pine forests. Then comes the third 
^one, a zone of parks. The large pine trees now give way to the belts of sub- 
alpine fir and mountain pine and larch, exquisite for beauty, enclosing the 
parks and grouped here and there in clumps like those in some old baronial 
estate of feudal times. This is the zone of rhododendron, shushula, phlox, and 
painted brush. Through the open glades the ptarmigan and deer wander, 
formerly unafraid of man, but now, alas, under the ban of civilization. The 
•upward slope has now increased to twenty or twenty-five degrees, and to a 
party of climbers a frequent rest and the quaffing of the ice-cold stream that 
dashes through the woods aflford a happy feature of the ascent. At the upper 
edge of this zone, at an elevation of probably seven thousand feet, beside some 
dashing stream or some clear pool, fed from the snows above, is the place for 
the camp. Such a camp! Oh, the beauty of such an unspoiled spot! 

Tt is from such a camp at the upper edge of the paradise zone that a party 
sets forth at the four o'clock hour to attain the highest. So the march on the 
great day of a final climb carries us at once into a fourth zone. This is the 
zone of avalanche and glacier, the zone of elemental fury and warfare, a zone 
■of ever-steeping ascent, thirty degrees, a zone of almost winter cold at night, 
but with such a dazzling brightness and fervor in the day as turns the snow- 
banks to slush and sends the fountains tearing and cutting across the glaciers 
and triturating the moraines. Vegetation has now almost ceased, though the 
heather still drapes the ledges on the eastern or southern exposures, and occa- 
.sionally one of the tenacious mountain pines upholds the banner of spring in 


some sheltered nook. This wind-swept and stonn-lashed zone is also the zone 
of the wild goats and mountain sheep. On the precipitous ridges and along 
the narrow ledges at the margin of glaciers they can be seen bounding away at 
the approach of the party, surefooted and swift at points where the nerve of the 
best human climber might fail. This zone carries the climbers to ten or eleven 
thousand feet of elevation on the highest peaks. And here is the place for the 
Mountaineers and Mazamas to take the half-hour rest on our arduous march. 
A sweet rest it is. We pick out some sheltered place on the eastern slope, and 
stretch ourselves at full length on the warm rocks, while the icy wind from 
the summit goes hurtling above us. And how good the chocolate and the 
malted milk and the prunes and raisins of the scanty lunch taste, while we rest 
and feel the might of elemental nature again fill our veins and lungs and hearts 

But then comes a fifth zone, the last, the zone of the Arctic. This is the 
zone of the snow-cap. The glaciers are now below. All life has ceased. The 
grade has ever steepened, till now it is forty degrees or more. The snow is 
hummocked and granulated. Here is where part of the climbers begin to stop. 
Legs and lungs fail. Camp looks exceedingly good down there at the verge 
of the forests. They feel as though they had lost nothing on the summit worth 
going up for. A nausea, mountain sickness, attacks some. Nosebleed attacks 
others. Things look serious. Icy mists sometimes begin to swirl around the 
presumptuous climbers. Frost gathers on hair and mustache and eyebrows. 
The unaccustomed or the less ambitious or weaker lose heart and bid the rest 
go on, for they will turn toward a more summer-like clime. Generally about 
half an ordinary party drop out at this beginning of the Arctic zone. But the 
rest shout "Excelsior," take a firmer grasp of alpenstock, stamp feet more 
vehemently into the snow, and with dogged perseverance move step by step up 
the final height. Inch by inch, usually in the teeth of a biting gale, leaning for- 
ward, and panting heavily, they force the upward way. And victory at last! 
There comes a time when we are on the topmost pinnacle, and there is nothing 
above us but the storms and sun. And then what elation! Nothing seems 
quite to equal the pure delight of such a triumph of lungs and legs and heart 
and will. 

But the reader will not be content with a description of the existing phys- 
ical features of this land. He will wish to know something of the processes by 
which all this came to pass, something of its geological history. Part of that 
geological record is obvious almost on the face of it. We have already spoken 
of the curious alternations of level valleys and separating ridges, with the 
gaps through which the rivers pass and by which one valley connects with 
another. One can hardly view those features of Yakima topography without 
framing the conception that each one of those level valleys was once covered 
by water and that there was a series of great lakes where now the orchards and 
alfalfa fields of the Yakima provide food for men and beasts. This conception 
of the era of lakes calls to mind one of the finest of the many fine myths which 
the Yakima and Klickitat Indians have passed on to their successors. This is 
the story of the great beaver of Lake Keechelus. This story has been told in 
various ways. Dr. G. B. Kuykendall of Pomeroy, formerly physician at Fort 
Simcoe on the Indian Reservation, has narrated it in the history of the Pacific 


Northwest. A. J. Splawn gives it a place in his graphic and valuable book on 
"Kamiakin, the Last Hero of the Yakimas." The author has heard it from 
Frank Olney of Toppenish, one of the best authorities on all matters relating 
to Indian life. Like most Indian myths this story of the beaver varies some- 
what, but in substance is to the efifect that in the times of the Wateetash (ani- 
mal people before the coming of men) there was a monstrous beaver, Wish- 
poosh, in the lakes which are now at the head of the Yakima. At that time, 
however, there was no river and the lakes were much larger than now. Wish- 
poosh was so destructive that Speelyi, the Coyote god of the Klickitats and 
Yakimas, determined to destroy him and attacked him with his wooden spear, 
but only wounded him. In his mad fury Wishpoosh tore up the trees and living 
creatures along the shore of the lake and finally tore out the bank of the lake 
itself, letting the great floods of water down into what we now call the Kittitas 
Valley, making of it a great lake. Not content with this the raging monster 
tore a passage way through the Umptanum Gap, and the accumulated floods 
passed on to fill the Selah and Wenas, but for a time were restrained by the 
ridge at what is now Selah Gap. That, however, soon gave way and the larger 
flats of the Ahtanum, and Moxee became in turn the reservoir of a new lake. 
Union Gap (Pahotacute), or rather the Ahtanum ridge at that point, still held 
back the waters for a time, but at last gave way before the furious onslaughts 
of Wishpoosh. Then there was a big lake sure enough. For now the water 
covered the whole area of the Simcoe, Toppenish and lower Yakima, clear 
across where the Columbia now is and even far on toward Walla Walla. Some 
versions of the story carry the big beaver through the Umatilla highlands or 
Wallula Gateway and then through the Cascade Mountain to the ocean. Ac- 
cording to Frank Olney, who is probably the best authority, Speelyi finally 
overpowered Wishpoosh at the point where the Yakima now joins the Colum- 
bia, and there cut up the monster and from his remains created the various 
Indian tribes. The fragments of the head were thrown up toward the source 
of the river, Speelyi declaring that the Indians there would become great in 
power and intelligence and ultimately be white and rule the other tribes. The 
legs and chest were thrown into the middle section with the declaration that 
they would be great as runners and fighters but would be inferior to the upper 
tribes. The refuse was cast down the river and from them were fashioned 
the lower and weaker tribes. Meanwhile the lakes had disappeared, the river 
had come into existence, the various gaps remained as shaped by Wishpoosh, 
the vast level plains had become visible above the waters, — and the Yakima 
Valley, as we know it, was an established fact. Chief Stwires (Rev. George 
Waters), a Klickitat Indian well known to all old timers in Yakima, told the 
author an interesting collateral story of the Yakima floods, to this effect. About 
a thousand years ago the Columbia River was simply a small stream and the 
Kittitas and Simcoe valleys were covered with water. One day a certain young 
man of the Klickitat tribe got lost in the mountains and finally made his way 
to the summit of Mount Adams (Pahtou). That was a feat rarely performed, 
for the natives have always had superstitions about the snow-peaks. But this 
young brave reached the summit and there he discovered a great lake on top. 
At that time also an earthquake caused the "Tomatiowas Bridge" of the Colum- 


bia River to fall, the lake on Mount Adams broke loose and tore down the whole 
east side of the mountain, causing the stupendous precipice now seen there, and 
the Kittitas and Simcoe lakes were drained. As a result of this the Yakima 
River came into existence, and the Columbia become the mighty river that it 
now is. 

Chief Stwires had these and similar stories from his mother. One curious 
feature of the Simcoe Lake story as related by Stwires is to the effect that there 
were whales in the lake. C. E. Rusk of Yakima told the author that he imag- 
ined that the whale story might have developed from the fact that at points 
near Kiona and Prosser in the lower valley mastodon bones have been found. 

We are not exactly in the domain of science in this part of the chapter, 
but it is worth remembering that the Indians, like all primitive people, lived 
close to "nature's heart," were great observers, and underneath the fantastic 
details of some of their stories had a general basis of an accurate conception 
of the physical changes of the earth. All the indications point to the action of 
water through alternating floods and lakes in the creation of the peculiar topog- 
raphy of the country. 

The geological history of the Yakima Valley, like that of other parts of this 
new land, must necessarily wait for fuller research to give it anything like com- 
pleteness. General outlines, however, have been given it from the investigations 
of government and state geologists, from the engineers of the Reclamation 
Service, and from the observations of prospectors, of whom there were many 
in the early mining days when the search for the precious metals engrossed 
the energies of most of the explorers. There have been a few individual stu- 
dents of high scientific intelligence to whom we owe general news of the order 
of evolution of this region. 

The first real student of geology in the northwest was Prof. Thomas 
Condon, for a number of years a Congregational clergyman at The Dalles, 
and then for many years one of the faculty of the Oregon State University 
at Eugene. Professor Condon published in 1902, a fascinating little book, "The 
Two Islands," in which he sets forth certain general conclusions of great inter- 
est in the history of the Northwest. The fundamental proposition on which 
this book is based is that there were two islands as the oldest land in all this 
region, the Siskiyou and the Shoshone. In the -book are given valuable details 
about the fossil remains and the rock formations upon which the author bases 
his conclusions. Another of his general expositions is that in the subsequent 
gradual evolution of the continent there were three vast seas imprisoned by 
the rising lands in the regions from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. 
The southernmost of these was ultimately drained by the Colorado River. The 
second was the Utah Basin, and it found no outlet,, but gradually disappeared 
by evaporation, leaving Great Salt Lake of the present as an evidence of the 
process. The third, much larger than either of the others, was enclosed by 
gradual successive elevations of the Cascade Mountains to be drained in time 
by the Columbia River. Professor Condon's conception of the agency of the 
Cascade Mountains in the history of the region which includes the Yakima 
may be found in the following excerpt from the "Two Islands:" "Thus far 
our narrative has had to do with occurrences apparently local and apparently 


disassociated from facts and events that shaped the history of the rest of the 
world. Our story now needs to take on its relations to this wider circle of 
changes, the geographical progress of other regions. , 

"The two islands in mid ocean and the muddy or sandy deposits along 
their respective shore lines were worked by the same ocean, receiving into their 
deposits the remains of the same sea life, and were affected alike by the heat 
and pressure of their vast acaimulations of the wear and the wash of older 
things. Nothing of all this tended to make these islands unlike, and so their 
growth was treated as the growth of twin sisters. The divergence in their 
records commenced with the growth of the Cascade barrier between them, and 
of the early history of this and its special bearing on the development of the 
Shoshone Island, careful note has been attempted. 

"At a later period in its history, this barrier character took another form. 
From a mere water barrier to a range of hills, and still later to a vast range of 
mountains, increased elevation lifted it into an atmospheric agency quite as im- 
portant as its previous marine one, for when it reached the altitude of a moun- 
tain range it excluded the moist, warm current of the Pacific Ocean and thus 
surrendered the interior to the dry, cold winds of the continent eastward. 

"Yet another of these barrier functions remains to be ascribed to the Cas- 
cade Range. Its uplift along the coast of Alaska made it a barrier to the flow 
eastward of the Japan current of the ocean. 

"The present extended plains from Alaska to Baffin's Bay would warrant 
the conclusion that before the elevation of the Cascade barrier at Alaska, the 
Japan current must have flowed over those stretches of low country on its way 

"The effect of this, as previously noted, would be to sweep away all accumu- 
lations of snow and ice in that region : in other words, would prevent accumu- 
lations of snow and ice between our island of Shoshone and the Arctic Circle. 
a condition of things which would be very effective in modifying the climate of 
the region we are describing. 

"Yet such an inflow of a vast tropical river from the ocean itself must 
have existed till turned aside by the upfold of this Cascade barrier along the 
coast of Alaska. 

"To say that this great upfold of the earth kept on increasing in height and 
breadth through the early and middle Tertiary times, would tend to obscure 
the strong line of the history, for it was the force that lifted this Cascade dyke 
into the Cascade range of hills, and these in turn into the Cascade range of 
mountains. It was the epochs of these successive upfolds that marked off into 
time periods the Eocene or early Tertiary, the Miocene or middle Tertiary, and 
the Pliocene or latest Tertiar}-. 

But there is still a wider view of its world relations than this one of the 
Pacific slope; for while this Cascade barrier was making a geographical sepa- 
ration between our two islands of the Pacific, there was an extension of the 
Gulf of Mexico northward into what is now British America, covering much 
of the region now occupied by the Rocky Mountains. The same crumpling 
process that elevated the Cascade barrier by a like process of elevation, closed 
this American Mediterranean to the ocean, and also added to the height and 


breadth of the already begun upfold of the Rocky Mountains. This change was 
closely followed by the conversion of the inclosed waters of the region from salt^ 
through brackish, to fresh waters. 

"And yet a still wider relationship may be mentioned. Up to the time whea 
the Cascade barrier was separating our Pacific Islands, western Europe, from> 
the British Islands to the Black Sea, was covered by a deep ocean over whose 
bed had been slowly deposited the cast-off calcareous shells of a Protozoan 
animal, the Globigerina. This accumulation of life-remains, hundreds of feet 
in thickness and extending over a length of six hundred miles, was brought to 
a close by the elevation of the sea bed, its calcareous sediment to be known in 
after times as the chalk beds of Europe. 

"Now this shrinking and the resulting crumpling of the surface seen in 
this light, becomes a world fact; its manifestation in the Cascade barrier, its 
other manifestation along the line of the Rocky Mountains, and the still further 
one in the elevation of the chalk beds of Europe, are but three links in the one 
chain of force. It is this European link that gives its name to the epoch, the 
Cretaceous (meaning chalk), and the close of this period, a time of great 
change, a revolution in the geological history, marks the passing away of the 
older forms of life and the introduction of the newer forms of both plants and 
animals. To accomplish this result the great types of life at this time went 
through rapid changes. 

"The dominant forms of vertebrate life of the Cretaceous period of land 
and sea, were reptilian, the dominant forms of the new period were mammalian. 

"A like radical change occurred at this time among the plants, as the types 
that mark the forests of today were not introduced till after the close of the 
Cretaceous. In the light of these facts there is a striking fitness in the name 
geologists have given the period that follows the Cretaceous. They call it the 
Eocene — the dawn of the recent. 

"When the violence that accompanied the Cretaceous revolution passed 
away, quiet was restored and life, land life, took its new tendency on our Shos- 
hone Island." 

It is interesting to note in connection with Professor Condon's "Two 
Islands" that Prof. Henry Landes of the University of Washington, state geol- 
ogist, believes that there was a third island perhaps antedating the Siskiyou and 
Shoshone and composing probably the oldest land in the Northwest. This was 
the region of the Methow and Chelan and south\\»ard from them. In general 
terms it may be said that the Methow and Chelan regions are of metamorphic 
rock, granitic, porphyritic, and andesite, while south of these to the Sierras, 
the Cascade Range and its various spurs are mainly of various forms of igneous 
rock, lava, basalt and trachyte. The vast snow peaks beginning with Baker 
(which ought to be Kulshan, Great White Watcher) and Shuksan near the 
Canadian line, and including Glacier Peak, Stuart, Rainier (Takhoma), St. 
Helens and Adams, with many lesser ones in the state of Washington, and an 
equal number of similar ones in Oregon, are entirely volcanic, heaved up 
through the original crust of the earth by stupendous volcanic and seismic 


A general view of the geology of the Yakima was prepared by Miss Ruth 
Johnson of the Yakima High School and published in one of the local papers. 
As a valuable brief contribution to the subject we are incorporating this into 
our work at this point. We derive this from a Yakima paper with this introduc- 
tion : 


(The following paper was prepared and read at a recent meeting of the 
Yakima Association of Collegiate Alumnae, by Miss Ruth Johnson of the High 
School faculty, and was so much enjoyed and the facts presented were deemed 
so important that it was requested for publication. — Ed.) 

In order to adequately explain the Geology of the Yakima Valley, it is 
first necessary that a few general statements in regard to the geological history 
of this country should be made. Passing over the ancient foundation of 
Archean rock and skirting of subsequent sedimentation that was built around it 
as well as intervening country that connects the more closely worked out sec- 
tions to the eastward, we find ourselves interested in more truly western struc- 
tures in British Columbia and Sierra Navadas. Showing records of as early 
a time as the Paleozoic, the second well recognized era in the geologic scale of 
time, there are rocks here that, according to George Otis Smith, "are the oldest 
in the Northern Cascades," and he also records the fact that they show signs 
of volcanic action. 

In this we might trace the earliest proofs of the great stress of uplift that 
was for the next two eras to keep the whole middle western edge of the con- 
tinent oscillating, now above and now below water level. 

Rocks of the Cretaceous period are quite definitely located and in the 
sifting of Mr. Condon's "Two Islands" there remain the undisputed facts of 
fossils of that period as having been located farther west than any of like age 
up to that time. It is of interest that through Mr. Condon's efforts the earliest 
explorations in search of fossil material were made, and such expeditions as 
that of Yale under orders from Professor Marsh in 1876, the resulting speci- 
mens of which, still comparatively unknown, are preserved in the recesses of 
Peabody Museum at New Haven. 

After the placing of the sediments which we now label as Cretaceous and 
parallel in age with the great chalk foundations of other continents, there seems 
to have come a great movement of lifting and folding which continued, studded 
with granite intrusions and other signs of igneous activity until what may be 
called the parent Cascade Mountains were lifted above the waters and erosion, 
with all its wearing powers, began. 

With the opening of the Tertiary period then we have a range of moun- 
tains, not necessarily high, but rugged, in about ihe same position as the Cas- 
cades of to-day, with a long trough-like estuary reaching in from the north 
over what is now the Puget Sound country. This water lapped up much 
farther than the present waters do, and it is a question whether or not the most 
far reaching of these tongues of water reached the large bodies of water that 
were to the east of the new raised ridge of mountains. 


These early Tertiary, or more properly speaking Eocene, waters are re- 
sponsible for all the coal in our state and with the realization that coal bed foun- 
dation demands long periods of shallow water growth coupled with rapid sedi- 
mentation to seal away the treasures of the forests for our use we can readily 
understand what must have been the story of that period. 

Following this the Neocene basalt flows occurred, with such a wide spread- 
ing field of action that some buttes north and east of Walla Walla were almost 
covered and the Snake River that we know was forced to cut its way out and 
through ten separate flows, the same flows of lava that may be readily seen 
between Ellensburg and Yakima in the canon. 

With the close of the lava flow came a deformation or slight tilting and 
with it of course, erosion until a level plain was formed upon the face of which 
rivers turned and twisted in an effort to empty their rapidly ponding waters into 
the sea. This properly is said to conclude the Miocene period as well as the 
career of the mountains already designated as the early Cascades. 

The main division of Tertiary time, however, does not end until another 
uplift furnishes the force to lift this level plain and with a combination of 
mountain building forces make possible our present Cascade Range. 

The erosion of this peneplain or level and elevated highland is even now 
continuing and it is the broken stretches of its flat top that we can trace against 
the blue sky line to the west. 

Turning to a closer study of the Yakima Valley. The earliest rocks in this 
section are to be found, according to Professor Saunders, in the Easton 
schists and other strata as the Peshastin and Hawkins formations. These are 
found in the mountainous western portion of the Yakima Basin, and are instru- 
mental in causing a very nigged topography. 


The mountains to the west were eroded rapidly and the resulting material 
deposited as the Swauk formation between Ellensburg and Thorp and the 
Naches formation showing a white streak in the hills north of Naches City. 
Says W. von Winkel in Water Supply, Paper No. 339, U. S. G. S. "Upper 
Yakima River Valley heads, now at 2458 feet, expose Pre-Eocene schists, slates, 
serpentines, and volcanic rocks. Eocene sandstones, conglomerate, shales, and 
basalts, and in places Neocene and later basalts. 

Above Ellensburg the river crosses an exposure of Neocene basalt and 
enters the later Tertiary sedimentary deposits known as Ellensburg formation 
and in its lower course flows across basalt and sandstone. 

Ill the course of this period these layers of sediment were uplifted and 
eroded before the first of the long series of lava flows made its appearance. 
This was a basic lava, called Teanaway basalt which in places attained a thick- 
ness of more than 5,000 feet. There were fissures in the sandstone, and ande- 
site and rhyolite were also a part of this flow. 

Following this another period of weathering and erosion comes with its 
destructive work, and well it is that geology takes small count of time as it is 
actually measured in years else we could not so glibly follow these centuries of 



erosion and the activity of leveling forces with the idea of sinking and subse- 
quent sedimentation. This time about 3,000 to 3,500 feet of sandstone and 
schists were deposited in the fresh water ponded here and the Roslyn coal is the 
proof of a most abundant vegetation. 

Just south of Yakima River are the Manastash beds, similar to Swauk 
though probably younger than the coal beds. The era of the Eocene then closed 
as far as the Yakima Valley was concerned with a break in the geologic record 
due to uplift and erosion, and that break we call an unconformity. Following 
this we have the Yakima basalt ranging in thickness from 200 to 2,500 feet 
and we know that the sheet type of field is largely due to the fact that the great 
floods were forced up through conduits in a manner best comparable to the 
oozing of juice when a rhubarb pie is in process of baking, not to say running 
over. It is generally conceded that the basalt came to surface through great 
fissures of considerable linear extent rather than volcanic vents, for with 
basalt's low melting point it would flow long distances before cooling. There 
are no indications of true volcanoes on the Ellensburg quadrangle. 

G. O. Smith speaks of ten separate flows ; and when one considers that be- 
tween each flow enough time elapsed so that the lava cooled, rock weathered and 
eroded enough to form a footing for the great trees the remains of which we 
now find, we gain a little broader idea of geologic time. Russell in his analysis 
of the lava gives the real reason for the soil's agricultural richness when he 
says it is made up of 46 to 47 per cent Si and 11-22 per cent. Al with lime, 
magnesia, potash and phosphoric acid. 

About the middle of the Neocene period the basaltic flows ceased and the 
area having sunk, doubtless because of the weight of the lava — a basin was 
formed. Before we go further, however, it is besi to stop to realize that the 
Columbia lava flows cover all of southern Idaho, eastern Oregon and extend 
into California, covering nearly 250,000 square miles, in places 4,000 feet thick 
and making the largest lava flow in the world. 

In the northwestern part of the basin sedimentation was contemporary 
with the lava flows and after this building of future soils had been carried on 
to what we call the Ellensburg formation that reaches a total height of 
1,569.5 feet north of Naches City. This series of layers shows such a mixture 
of acidic, volcanic ash and sediment that a new volcanic activity to the west- 
ward is definitely proved and that too of a more acidic type. This layer is the 
one which Dall and Weaver correlate with the Massall beds of John Day in 
Oregon and it is to them that we may look for proofs of the life that existed 
at that time. 

Early in the Pliocene times there was a gentle flexing and foUling in a gen- 
eral N. W. and S. E. direction and these arches naturally aff'ected the drainage 
that was later to work out the Columbia River basin drainage. 

This material was again worked down to a peneplain with the rivers 
showing every sign of age. These ridges were again uplifted this time with the 
whole area raised and naturally the rivers were intrenched and had to cut their 
way through as at Union and Selah gaps and the whole Yakima Canon. 

Picture then the enormous amount of work which those streams had to do 
before they could pursue their untrammeled wav to the sea, and also remember 


that the Columbia itself was having to do the same work of cutting where the 
Cascades were being humped up beneath its course to the ocean. 

The most important event of the latter history of the valley, according to 
Bull (U. S. G. S. No. 86) is the andesite eruption in the vicinity of the Tieton 
Basin and the resulting lava flow down the Tieton and Naches. Tieton River 
with a canyon of 1,000 to 3,000 feet of basalt was filled, and ponding was forced 
in the Tieton Basin. Later streams of volcanic mud and lava encroached on 
the broad bottom land of Cowiche and Naches and this largest stream of molten 
material cooling as it traveled shows the change of viscosity in the slope of 
si.xty feet to the mile that is still to be seen on the edge of Naches Heights. 
The lava stream stopped at Painted Rocks two miles below where it came out 
of the canyon and was about 300 feet high at the clilf which shows its end. 
The Tieton and Cowiche were changed, similarly farther north. Local Cowiche 
water was ponded 1,700 feet in depth. No rock of glacial origin shows on quad- 
rangle but granite boulders deposited by ice in ponds. So we conclude the story 
of our section, one that we may read as we run, and seeing what great changes 
have come about in practically unmeasured periods of time, we may well look 
with mingled feelings of awe and pride at the hills that most of us know and 

The article by Miss Johnson gives a very accurate general view in brief, but 
some of our readers will doubtless desire more detailed and technical informa- 
tion, and to satisfy that desire we are here incorporating extracts from the 
thorough and voluminous report by George Otis Smith as given in the Mount 
Stuart folio of the Geological Atlas of 1904. The first extract gives a general 
description of the ;\Iount Stuart quadrangle. 


"Situation and extent. — The Mount Stuart quadrangle is bounded by the 
meridians 120° 30' and 121° west longitude and the parallels 47° and 
47° 30' north latitude. The area thus included is 812.4 square miles. The 
quadrangle is situated nearly in the center of the state of Washington and 
includes portions of Kittitas and Chelan counties. 

"Relief.^The quadrangle lies on the eastern slope of the Cascade Moun- 
tains, and the northern half of the area includes the Mount Stuart massif and 
its foothills. Mount Stuart, the most prominent topographic feature of the 
quadrangle, is the culminating peak of an important spur of the main Cascade 
Range, the crest of the main range lying fifteen miles to the west. This sec- 
ondary range Prof. I. C. Russell has termed the Wenatchee Mountains. Mount 
Stuart rises to an elevation of 9,470 feet above sea level, and, with its deeply 
carved spires and crags, more or less covered with snow throughout the sum- 
mer, is the most striking feature in the varied scenery of the region. Its wild- 
est and grandest scenery, however, lies hidden within its fastnesses. 

"The southern face of Mount Stuart is a precipitous slope rising 5,000 feet 
or more above Ingalls Creek. This wall can be scaled at several points, but by 
only one route has the highest peak been successfully attacked by the mountain 
climber. This route is along the right-hand side of a well-defined gulch which 


debouches in a large alluvial cone opposite the mouth of Turnpike Creek. At 
the head of this gulch begins the true climb westward along the arete with its 
huge blocks of rock. The summit is about a thousand feet above, and, when 
reached, the peak is found to be so acute that the greater part of the available 
space is taken by the triangulation monument. Beiow, the northern and west- 
em faces are so much more precipitous as readily to convince the observer that 
there is only one approach to the summit. 

"On the north side of Mount Stuart are broad and deep amphitheaters, in 
which lie small glaciers and glacial lakes, draining northward into Icicle Creek. 
The glaciers immediately below the main peak are mere remnants, often only 
a few hundred yards in extent, yet as seen from the summit these exhibit the 
characteristics possessed by larger ice streams; crevasses cross the surface and 
indicate clearly the lines of flow in the lower portions of the glacier, while one 
terminal moraine was observed. Neve fields connect these tiny glaciers, so 
that they form a chain at the base of the cliff that so effectually protects them. 
In the Twin Lakes amphitheater there is a much larger glacier, about two miles 
in length. A Nunatak rising through this sheet of ice is a conspicuous fea- 
ture, and the typically rounded surfaces of this glacial basin present strong 
contrasts with the extremely rugged outlines of the higher parts of the range. 

"Southward from Mount Stuart extend the lower peaks and ridges, many 
of which are hardly less rugged than Mount Stnart itself. The valleys are 
canyon-like in character, and dissection of the land surface has reached an 
extreme degree of maturity. There is, however, some variety in the extent 
to which erosion has been carried. Rocks of varying structure and hardness 
have caused the details to differ somewhat, but ever}'where within this zone 
the topography is bold. The divides are generally narrow, the crests of the 
ridges being often so sharp as to be almost impassable. Below, the slopes are 
steep, and high cliffs border many of the valleys. The larger streams in this 
part of the quadrangle have rather broad valleys, although a striking feature is 
the number of types that may be observed in a single valley. Within a few 
miles a stream will pass from a broad basin down over a series of cascades, 
then wind through beautiful intermontane meadows, only to again dash down 
into a deep canyon. Such a succession is found in the valley of Negro Creek, 
and similar alternations of level stretches and precipitous cascades characterize 
almost every other stream. In general the gradient as well as the width of each 
valley is largely determined by the character of the rock in which it has been cut. 
The valley of Negro Creek furnishes a good example of this. The upper basin 
and the lower broad and level portions of the valley are in serpentine and soft 
sandstone and are separated by belts of hard, igneous rock over which the 
stream cascades. The lower half of the valley is a narrow canyon cut in 
igneous rock and hard slate. 

"The southern half of the quadrangle includes a portion of the sloping 
plateau which extends from the higher parts of the Cascades on the west to 
the plain of the Columbia on the east. The gentle eastward slope of this plateau 
can be seen in the sky line as one looks southward from the peaks near Mount 
Stuart. The flat-topped ridge south of Yakima Valley, and Lookout and 
Table mountains just to the east, are instantly recognized as topographic fea- 


tures quite different in character from those already described. This southern 
region is, hke the northern, deeply trenched with canyons, but the streams are 
much farther apart, so that the divides between the drainage lines are broad and 
level and the plateau character of the region is very apparent. Table Mountain 
and the Manastash area afford the best examples of the plateau topography. The 
nearly level plateau is so wanting in noticeable features as often to render it 
difficult to recognize particular localities. The level character of the surface 
generally continues to the very brink of the canyons, where the stream is sev- 
eral hundred or even a thousand feet below. 

"The valley of the upper Yakima forms the northern boundary of the 
western portion of this plateau, but within this quadrangle the Yakima cuts 
across the escarpment which marks the edge of the plateau. Thus, in the 
southeast corner of the quadrangle, Kittitas Valley, as this portion of the valley 
is called, fornis an extensive depression in the plateau country. In Kittitas 
Valley, as well as in the upper valley of the Yakima, extensive terraces border 
the river, a feature also prominent in the lower portion of Teanaway Valley. 
Narrow terraces occur along the smaller streams which are tributary to the 
Yakima, such as Swauk Creek and the three forks of the Teanaway. 

"A somewhat uncommon topographic form which is very noticeable withiin 
the Mount Stuart quadrangle is the landslide. While occurring in almost alH 
parts of the quadrangle and seeming to be in a way independent of geologic 
structure, the landslides are most abundant along the northern escarpment of 
the plateau country, especially on Table and Lookout mountains. Here the 
masses of rock which have separated from the mountain side are so extensive 
as to render the resultant topography at the base of the cliffs very conspicuous. 
The best example of this is at the western base of Lookout Mountain, where the 
belt of landslide topography is a mile and a half wide. Three small lakes occur 
here in the basins formed behind the immense blocks of rock that have slidl 
down toward the valley. Such undrained basins are characteristic of topog- 
raphy that has originated in this way, and may be found in many localities 
within the Mount Stuart quadrangle. The landslide areas will probably aggre- 
gate a score of square miles within this quadrangle, but it has not seemed best 
to delineate such areas on the geologic map, since in spite of their presence it is 
possible to map the correct distribution of the various underlying formations. 

"Drainage. — The Mount Stuart quadrangle includes parts of two drainage 
basins. The larger part of the quadrangle is tributary to Yakima River, while 
nearly one-fourth is drained by streams flowing into Wenatchee River, a few 
miles north of the northern edge of the quadrangle. Both of these rivers are 
important tributaries of the Columbia. 

"The Yakima here is a stream of considerable size, as it receives just west 
of the western edge of the quadrangle the waters of Cle Elum River, the last 
and largest of its three important headwater tributaries. The flow of the 
Yakima at Ellensburg may be estimated from measurements taken during the 
year 1898 at gauging stations in the vicinity of North Yakima. Using this 
basis, the mean annual discharge is 2,500 second-feet; the maximum discharge 
is about 15,000 second-feet, in February, and the minimum is less than 250- 
second-feet, in October. The unusually high water of 1899 would give very 


different results, but the discharge of 1898 is believed to be more nearly normal. 

"Yakima River has considerable grade — about fifteen feet to the mile — 
while the Teanaway has a grade of thirty to'forfy feet. Both rivers at flood cut 
into their gravel banks at many points, and minor changes in their channels 
thus ensue. Next to the area drained by the Teanaway, the basin of Swauk 
Creek is the most important area, while Reeser, Taneum, Wilson, Naneum, 
and Manastash creeks are streams draining the plateau region in the southern 
half of the quadrangle. Naneum and Manastash creeks enter the Yakima south 
of the limits of the Mount Stuart quadrangle." 

The limits of this chapter forbid extensive quotations from the general 
geologic history, but it will be interesting to see the introduction given by Mr. 
Smith dealing with the general features and with the initial process. 

"General Features. — It is believed that the Mount Stuart quadrangle is 
exceptional for this province in the completeness with which the geologic record 
is exhibited. It is thus a representative area for the geologic province of which 
it is a part, and contains both tlie oldest and the youngest rocks thus far dis- 
covered in the northern Cascades. The Mount Stuart massif and the lower 
but rugged peaks encircling it constitute an area of the older or pre-Tertiary 
rocks, while to the south and east are strata of Tertiary age, under which the 
older formations are buried. 

"This separation of the rocks of the Mount Stuart quadrangle into the 
older, or pre-Tertiary, and the younger, or Tertiary, is at once natural and most 
obvious. The difference between these two groups is apparent to any close 
observer. The older rocks are varied in composition and kind, but all are more 
or less altered, and the age of no formation among them is definitely deter- 
mined. Above, fossil plants afford a basis for the exact age determination of 
several formations. Among the formations of the pre-Tertiary age, intrusive 
igneous rocks predominate — that is, the rocks are such as were formed at a 
considerable depth below the surface of the earth, consolidating from bodies 
of molten rock material which was forced up from below. On the other hand, 
the Tertiary rocks are chiefly of the kind formed at the surface, sediments and 
volcanic deposits. These are sandstones, for the most part, and shales, deposited 
as sands and muds in large inland lakes, or lavas and beds of tuff erupted from 
openings in the earth's crust. 

"The difference in age between these two groups of rocks is considerable. 
The older rocks had been long exposed to the influence of the atmosphere, and 
been carved by streams into hills and valleys when the first deposits in the 
Eocene waters were laid down, over an uneven surface composed of rocks 
widely differing in character. This is what is meant when it is said that there 
is at the base of the Eocene sandstone a marked unconformity, representing an 
erosion interval. In the following portion of this descriptive text the geologic 
history of the region will lie outlined and all of these formations, both pre- 
Tertiary and Tertiary, will be described in detail. 


"Formation of the Oldest Rocks. — The oldest rocks in the quadrangle 
are probably of Paleozoic Age. As will be shown more fully later, these rocks 


are in large measure metamorphic — that is, they have been altered from their 
original condition. Yet, sufficient remains of the original characters to show 
that the schists, slates, and greenstones of the Easton, Peshastin and Hawkins 
formations represent both sediments and products of volcanic activity. The 
record furnished by these older rocks indicates that the conditions of sedimenta- 
tion and of volcanism were remarkably similar to those prevailing at approxi- 
mately the same time in the Sierra Nevada area and in British Columbia. Rocks 
strikingly similar to those of the Mount Stuart area are also found in the Blue 
Mountains of Oregon and in the Okanogan Valley, south of the international 
boundary. The inference from these relations is that during a portion of 
Paleozoic time the Pacific coast region from British Columbia to California con- 
stituted a single geologic province. The absence of Mesozoic sediments in this 
central Washington region suggests that it became a land area during Mesozoic 
time. The existing of a thick mass of Cretaceous rocks in the northern Cas- 
cades immediately south of the international boundary shows the extension 
of the Cretaceous sea southward from British Columbia, while rocks of similar 
age in the John Day Basin and Blue Mountains of Oregon mark the southern 
limit of this central land area. Later formations conceal these older rocks over 
large areas, but future geologic study may furnish data for a description of the 
Paleozoic and Mesozoic geography, which can only be touched upon now. 

"Igrneous Intrusions. — The next recognized chapter in the geologic history 
is that of the injection of large masses of molten rock in these older rocks. The 
schists, slates, and greenstones had been folded and uplifted from their orig- 
inal positions when the intrusions of igneous rock began. The earlier of these 
was that of the extremely basic magma which crystalized to form the peridotite, 
now largely altered to serpentine. The masses of older rock were separated by 
large bodies of this intrusive rock, often nearly a mile across. Smaller bodies 
of the Peshastin formation were broken off and completely engulfed in the 
molten magma, so that now many blocks of this foreign material are found 
included in the serpentine. 

"Striking as was this display of the power of earth forces, the next exhibi- 
tion of igneous intrusion was on a larger scale. The ]\Iount Stuart batholith is 
a mass of intrusive granitic rock measuring many square miles in area ; in fact, 
the limits of its extent northward beyond the Mount Stuart quadrangle have 
not yet been determined. The petrographtc characters of the rock, as well as 
the metamorphic action the cooling mass exerted upon the adjacent rocks, favor 
the view that this intrusion was essentially deep seated, although its exact 
depth below the surface cannot be stated. The Mount Stuart granodiorite now 
forms the core of the Wenatchee Mountains, and its intrusion may have initiated 
the uplift of this minor range. Prior to this, however, as noted above, the 
older rocks had been subjected to mountain-building forces, and. as will be shown 
later, the Wenatchee Mountains owe their present elevation to movements 
during Tertiary time. 

"Erosion. — Nothing definite can be stated regarding the age of these ig- 
neous intrusions. The nearest date that can be fixed is the beginning of the 
Eocene, but at that time the granodiorite, serpentine and older rocks had suf- 
fered a considerable amount of erosion. The cover under which the granitic 
mass had consolidated had been removed and the rocks, of varying hardness, 


had been carved so as to form a region of bold relief. This interval of time 
during which atmospheric agencies accomplished so much is measured by the 
great unconformity between the older rocks and the earliest of the Tertiary 


"Early Sedimentation. — Conditions favoring the deposition of the waste 
from the eroded rock masses began early in the Eocene Epoch. The coarse 
bowlders of granodiorite, serpentine and other rocks accumulated near their 
present ledges and were successively covered with finer sediments deposited in 
the rising waters of the Eocene lake. The rugged topography caused the coast 
line to be extremely irregular, so that inclosed lagoons and narrow inlets 
doubtless occurred in close proximity to bold headlands. Variety in the sedi- 
ments resulted, and fine muds and coarse granite sands may have been laid 
down contemporaneously in adjoining areas. The higher portions of the mass 
of granitic rock appear to have been exposed to active weathering agencies, 
since the larger part of the Swauk formation is composed of fresh arkose, 
plainly derived from the Mount Stuart granodiorite. 

"Basaltic Eruptions. — Elevation accompanied by a moderate amount of 
flexing probably terminated the epoch of sedimentation. Erosion immediately 
began its work and had truncated certain of the folds before the eruption of 
large masses of basaltic lava and tuflf took place. The source of this volcanic 
material was deep seated, the molten rock reaching the surface through hun- 
dreds of vents. Cracks in the sandstone, serpentine, slate, and even the gran- 
odiorite appear to have been taken advantage of by the extremely fluid magma, 
which thus secured a passage upward to the surface. For the most part the lava 
spread out in great sheets, while in certain localities the presence of steam in 
the molten rock appears to have caused explosive eruptions, thick beds of basal- 
tic tufif being intercalated with the lava sheets. 

"Later Sedimentation. — The violent volcanism was succeeded by quiet 
sedimentation in the waters which soon covered the basaltic rocks. The sands 
and muds deposited in this later Eocene Epoch appear to have been better sorted 
than the materials composing the earlier Eocene sediments. Vegetable matter,, 
which was present in the earlier formation now became prominent, and during 
the later part of the epoch, represented by the Roslyn formation, the conditions 
of sedimentation were such as to allow the deposit of several beds of carbona- 
ceous material, which now furnish workable seams of coal. 

"Sedimentation during Eocene time appears to have taken place in basins 
which were neither extensive nor permanent. The Swauk water body was 
doubtless larger than the Roslyn, while the latter basin appears to have had a 
position well toward the southern edge of the Swauk Basin. The Roslyn 
waters, however, did not extend far to the south, since the Manastash forma- 
tion, which is of late Eocene Age, is found to have its basal sediments resting 
directly upon the pre-Tertiary schists. The Manastash Basin was thus south 
of the Roslyn Basin, which was south of the basin in which the Swauk sedi- 
ments were deposited. This southward migration of the lake basins in Eocene 


time very probably had its origin in resistance offered by the Mount Stuart 
massif to the mountain building movements which continued throughout the 
Tertiary period. The deposition of the sands and muds, now indurated and 
forming the rocks of the Manastash formation, closed the Eocene sedimentation, 
as far as the record is known." 

From the extensive section of Mr. Smith's report dealing with such forma- 
tions we select the following as illustrating the general method of treatment and 
as of special interest. 


"Succession. — While the absolute age has not been determined for any of 
the pre-Tertiary formations, their relative age is determined by their geologic 
relations, and they will be described in that order. The oldest formations in 
this region are the Easton schist, the Peshastin slate, and the Hawkins volcanic 
rocks. Of these, the first is a metamorphic rock, probably of sedimentary 
origin; the others, while somewhat altered, are plainly sedimentary and vol- 
canic respectively. The intrusive igneous rocks are the peridotite, now largely 
altered to serpentine, and the Mount Stuart granodiorite. 


"Areal Extent. — This formation occupies two small areas in the south- 
western part of the quadrangle. The larger of the two includes a portion of the 
ridge between Yakima River and Taneum Creek. Here the formation is a 
quartz- mica-schist, a typical metamorphic rock. Though occupying only a few 
square miles in the Mount Stuart quadrangle, this schist extends westward 
into the Snoqualmie quadrangle, forming the southern wall of Yakima Valley 
as far as Easton, from which town the formation takes its name. Southwest 
of Cle Elum the Easton Schist extends southward from the edge of the valley 
across the ridge, which rises 2,500 feet at this point above the valley, and down 
across the forks of Taneum Creek. South of this point the schist is hidden 
beneath later formations, but reappears several miles farther south on South 
Fork of Manastash Creek. 

"Description. — Where best exposed the Easton Schist is a silvery-gray 
or green rock, with thin layers of quartzose material separated by micaceous 
minerals — sericite and chlorite. The rock is extremely crumpled, and gashed 
and seamed with quartz veins and stringers. Associated with this quartz-mica- , 
schist are other schists, more limited in their occurrence. These are amphi- 
bolites — schists composed largely of green hornblende, which probably have been 
derived from a dioritic or more basic igneous rock, dikes of which cut the rock 
now metamorphosed into the quartz-mica-schist. Other associated schists have 
epidote as a prominent constituent. 

"Immediately west of the base of Cle Elum Point the schist shows an 
apparent stratification and includes green and blue amphibole (glaucophane) 
schists and a jaspery quartzite, both the glaucophane-schist and the quartzite 
containing considerable magnetite. These rocks appear to be metamorphosed 
sediments. Their occurrence close to the intrusive rock of Cle Elum Point sug- 
gests a possible cause of the metamorphism. 



"Type Occurrence. — The typical exposure of this formation is along the 
canyon of Peshastin Creek near the mouth of Negro Creek. The rock is gen- 
erally a black slate, and a great thickness is exposed here. Cherty bands and 
fine grit or conglomerate also occur, but only in relatively small amount. 

"In the northwestern part of the quadrangle, between the headwaters of 
North and Middle forks of Teanaway River, there is another area of the 
Peshastin formation. There black chert is again found interbedded with the 
slate, and lenses of light-gray limestone also occur. The thin bands of chert 
are rather persistent, but the lenses of limestone rarely measure more than a 
few yards in length. Argillaceous rocks other than the black slate occur in this 
area. These are a red ferruginous slate and a yellowish sericitic rock, some- 
what schistose. 

"In the region between these two larger areas of the Peshastin formation 
there are several smaller exposures of the slate and associated rocks. In some 
cases these areas are too small to be represented. 

" 'Nickel Ledge.' — One exceptional phase of the Peshastin formation and 
its mode of occurrence should be mentioned. At a number of localities on the 
headwaters of North Fork of the Teanaway, and on the tributaries of Peshas- 
tin Creek, may be seen narrow belts, or even ledges only a few feet across, of 
a bright-yellow or light-red rock. Such occurrences are locally known as the 
'nickel ledge' or 'porphyry dike.' The universal characteristic of the rock is its 
bright color, by which it can be recognized at considerable distance. The rock 
is usually very hard, and its weathered surface is extremely rough or ragged. 
These yellow or red 'ledges' occur within the peridotite or serpentine areas or 
in the areas of Peshastin rocks near the contact with the serpentine. In the 
latter case the 'ledge' is much less homogeneous and includes thin beds of slate 
and conglomerate. In another locality where the 'ledge' occurs within the ser- 
pentine area it is associated with a bed of chert. Examined microscopically 
the rock exhibits no structures that afford any clue to its origin, and the only 
constituents seen are carbonates and iron oxide. Chemically it is a siliceous 
dolomitic rock. 

"Two explanations of the origin of this 'nickel ledge' might be given. The 
bands or ledges, which have a general east-west trend, may represent mineral- 
ized zones in both the serpentine and the slate, or they may have been originally 
calcareous beds or lenses belonging to the Peshastin fonnation, in part included 
within the intrusive peridotite, in part situated along its contact, and thus sub- 
ject to alteration by this magnesia-rich igneous rock. The latter hypothesis is 
the one which is better supported by the relations observed. Limestone lenses 
such as are called for by this hypothesis occur within the Peshastin areas, 
though they are not known at the serpentine contact, where, however, the pecu- 
liar magnesian rock does occur. At the western edge of the quadrangle, on the 
ridge next south of Hawkins Mountain, a ledge of magnesian rock, is, however, 
parallel with a bed of limestone within the slate series. In this area at least, 
the relationships plainly point to the altered condition of the former rock being 
directly dependent on the nearness to the serpentine, with which it is partly in 


contact. The enrichment of the calcareous rock with magnesia may have oc- 
curred at the time of the intrusion of the peridotite or later. 

"The association of chert and slate with the Magnesian rock is believed to 
justify the mapping of the latter as also belonging to the Peshastin formation. 
The principal occurrences of this rock are on the northern edge of the western 
area of the Peshastin formation and within the serpentine area in the upper 
basins of Beverly, Fourth, Stafford, Cascade, Fall and Negro creeks. Other 
outcrops, too small to be represented on the map, may be seen near Blewett and 
near the junction of Ingalls and Peshastin creeks." 

Inasmuch as a large part of the Yakima Valley is basaltic the part of Mr. 
Smith's report dealing with the Yakima basalt will be of value and we give 
here a portion of that part of the report. 


"Areal Importance. — The Miocene basalt is one of the most extensive for- 
mations of the quadrangle, and also perhaps the most conspicuous. Approxi- 
mately one-fourth of the area is covered by the Yakima basalt, but this repre- 
sents only the margin of the vast region characterized by this basalt and ex- 
tending to the east and southeast even beyond the boundaries of the state. This 
series of basalt lava flows of Miocene Age constitutes what is undoubtedly the 
largest volcanic formation in America. 

"The Yakima basalt is well exposed in an escarpment which extends from 
near Cle Elum Point northward to the northern end of Table Mountain. 
Through this black wall of rock Yakima River and Swauk Creek have cut their 
gaps, so that opportunity is afforded for study of the series of lava flows. Sev- 
eral sheets of basaltic lava can be distinguished, as they form benches on the 
canyon sides. On the plateau-like areas covered by the basalt its presence is 
commonly shown by the prevelance of angular fragments of the black, dense 

"The lowermost sheet of basalt occurs at different elevations along the 
escarpment and at other places where the lower contact of the Yakima basalt 
can be seen. In many localities the relations along this contact are obscured 
by the presence of landslides. Yet, whether the Yakima basalt rests on the 
Swauk sandstone, the Teanaway basalt, the Roslyn formation, the INIanastash 
sandstone, or the Easton schist, the contact is more or less irregular, and north 
of Taneum Creek the contact of horizontal sheets of lava with the underlying 
schist has a vertical range of 1,500 feet. These relations indicate the amount 
of relief of the land surface on which the earlier flows of basalt came to rest. 
The total thickness of the Yakima basalt within this area probably nowhere 
much exceeds 2,000 feet, although it is known to be much thicker farther south. 
In several localities along the northern escarpment 1,000 feet is an approximate 
measure of the thickness of basalt. 

"On the north side of Taneum Creek there are two small areas of basalt 
which represent remnants of a thin local flow that was erupted after the begin- 
ning of deposition of the Ellen.sburg sediments. In the area south of this quad- 
rangle similar later flows interbedded with the upper Miocene sediments were 


important enough to be separated from the main series and given the name 
of Wenas basalt. Within the Mount Stuart quadrangle, hov/ever, this flow was 
detected nowhere else. 

"The structure of the Yakima basalt is very simple and is similar to that 
of the Ellensburg formation, as described in a later paragraph. The occur- 
rence of the small outcrop of basalt on Dry Creek is the result of a slight change 
in the gentle dip of the flexed basalt and sandstone, which has enabled the 
stream to cut through the sandstone. 

"The most noticeable feature of the basalt is its columnar structure, by 
which the sheets of black rock are converted into regular colonnades. Huge 
prisms, several feet in diameter and scores of feet in length, stand out from the 
canyon walls in a manner so characteristic of this rock that the term 'basaltic 
structure' is often applied to it. These prismatic columns owe their origin to 
the contraction of the cooling lava. The joint planes due to this shrinkage of 
the rock were normal to the cooling surface, so that now the columnar parting 
of the rock is vertical wherever the sheets remain in their original horizontal 
position. Horizontal cracks divide the columns into shorter blocks, which 
usually, however, fit so closely together as not to detract from the general effect 
of these rows of columns. 

"Petrographic Characters. — The Yakima basalt is a black rock, compact 
and heavy. The weathered surface is often brownish in color and sometimes 
gray, but universally the basalt as exposed along the ridges or in the river 
canyons is dull and somber. Petrographically the Yakima basalt is a normal 
feldspar-basalt containing basic plagioclase, augite, and olivine, in crystals or 
rounded grains, with varying amounts of glassy base. Examined microscopi- 
cally, the Yakima basalt is found to vary somewhat in the quantitative miner- 
alogic composition as well as in texture. None of the minerals occur as mega- 
scopic phenocrysts, but the labradorite crystals are more regularly developed 
than either the augite or the olivine. The olivine is less abundant than the 
light-brown augite, and also varies more in the amount present in different 
specimens. Apatite and magnetite are accessory constituents, the latter often 
occurring in delicate skeleton crystals. Some phases of the lava, especially in 
the basal or surface portions of a flow, are very glassy and masses of pure 
basalt glass can be found. The glass fragments seen on Table Mountain have a 
rounded form and undoubtedly represent bombs ejected from a volcanic center. 
As a whole the tuff beds and the scoriaceous lavas are less common than the 
compact basalt. 

"A specimen of this basalt from Cle Elum Ridge, about four miles south- 
west of Cle Elum, was selected as representative of the different flows of the 
Yakima basalt and it was analyzed by George Sleiger. This basalt is dark iron 
gray in color, aphanitic, and has a rough fracture. The thin section shows its 
texture to be fine grained, hypocrystalline, with intersertal glassy base. The most 
abundant constituent is labradorite, slightly zonal. Next in importance is the 
pale-brown augite, in roughly prismatic crystals, while the olivine occurs in 
grains. The base is a brown glass containing magnetite in fine dust and skele- 
ton crystals, as well as slender microlites of feldspar and augite. Slender 
needles of apatite occur included in the feldspar. The analysis which follows 


shows the Yakima basalt to be closely related chemically to the Teanaway 
basalt. It is much less basic than typical basalt, and would be termed a vaalose 
in the more exact quantitative classification." 

From the standpoint of business interest the most valuable part of this re- 
port is that dealing with the metals, with coal, and with building stone. We are 
therefore making copious extracts here of this important part of the subject. 

"The three principal gold-mining districts of central Washington are in- 
cluded in the Mount Stuart quadrangle. The Peshastin placers were discov- 
ered in 1860 and have been worked intermittently ever since. The Swauk placers 
have been worked rather more steadily since their discovery in 1868. Gold- 
bearing veins were first located in the Peshastin district in 1873, and in the 
Swauk in 1881. The mineral veins of the Negro Creek district constitute a 
■continuation of those in the Peshastin district. 

"Mining in these districts has been conducted by small owners, and it is 
impossible to secure any definite data regarding production. The output of 
gold of Kittitas County for the years 1884 to 1895, as reported by the director 
of the mint, aggregates $764,163. About $5,000 of silver was reported from 
that county for the same period. The Peshastin district is now included in 
Chelan County, but during this period it was a part of Kittitas County. The 
jears 1892 and 1895 were seasons of maximum production, and the area prob- 
ably would have steadily increased its output had it not been for the exodus of 
miners to Alaska. In view of the activity in these districts in the years preced- 
ing 1884, as well as the production of the last seven years, it seems that 
$2,000,000 would be a conservative estimate of the total gold production. In 
the last five years companies with larger capital have purchased the claims of 
the small operators, and mining operations will now be conducted more eco- 
nomically and probably with an increase in the gold production. 

"Swauk District. — The Pleistocene gravels along Swauk Creek and many 
of its tributaries are gold bearing. These alluvial gravels form the terraces, 
which are especially prominent and extensive at the junctions of Swauk and 
Williams creeks and of Boulder and Williams creeks. The gravel deposits are 
from a few feet to seventy and eighty feet in thickness, and while red or yellow 
at the surface, the gravel is blue below. The upper portions of the gravel also 
are less easily worked, since induration of the gravel has followed the oxida- 
tion of the cementing material. 

"While fine gold is found throughout the gravel deposits at some locali- 
ties, most of the gold occurs close to bed rock and in channels other than those 
occupied by the present streams. The marked characteristic is coarseness. 
Pieces several ounces in weight are common, while a number of nuggets weigh- 
ing twenty ounces or more have been found, and one or more nuggets of about 
fifty ounces have been reported, the largest nugget of the district having a 
value of $1,100. These larger nuggets are usually well rounded, but on the 
tributary streams wire and leaf gold is found. The gold is not pure, containing 
considerable silver, which materially decreases its value. 

"The bed rock, which belongs to the Swauk formation, is usually of a 
nature to favor the collection of the gold. The inclined beds of hard shale form 
natural 'riffles,' and from the narrow crevices in the shale the best nuggets are 


often taken. The sandstone beds wear smooth, in which case the bed rock is 
apt to be barren. The old channels, both of Swauk Creek and of its tributaries, 
vary somewhat in position from the present course of the stream, but only 
within definite limits. The old valleys and the present valleys are coincident, 
but, within the wide-terraced valleys of the present, older channels may be 
found, now on one side and now on the other. Thus, on Williams Creek and 
the lower portion of Boulder Creek the old water-course has been found to 
the south of the present channel of the stream, and is in other cases below the 
bed of the creek. On Swauk Creek the deposits worked are above the level 
of the stream, being essentially bench workings. Here hydraulic plants have 
been employed, but elsewhere the practice has been to drift on bed rock. While 
the endeavor is to follow the old channels, it is found that the 'pay streak' can 
not be traced continuously. Ground that will yield forty dollars to the cubic 
yard of gravel handled may lie next to ground that does not contain more than 
fifty cents to the cubic yard. In the last few years the operations in the Swauk 
Basin have been on a larger scale. Williams Creek has been dammed and 
methods have been devised to handle the tailings and bowlders on the lower 
courses of Swauk Creek, where the gradient of the valley is low. 

"The source of the alluvial gold is readily seen to be the quartz veins known 
to occur in the immediate vicinity. These will be discussed in a following para- 
graph. The noticeable lack of rounding of much of the gold shows that it has 
not been transported far, and indeed the limited area of the Swauk drainage 
basin precludes any very distant source for the gold. It is only along the 
Swauk within a few miles of Liberty and on Williams Creek and its tributaries 
that gold has been found in paying quantities, and, as will be noted later, this 
is appro.ximately the area in which the gold-quartz veins have been discovered. 
From the outcrops of these ledges the gold and quartz have been detached and 
washed down into the beds of the streams, where the heavier metal was soon 
covered by the rounded bowlders and pebbles with which the channel became 
filled. The conditions under which the gold was washed into the streams 
probably differed little from those of to-day, except that the streams were then 
filling up their valleys. 

"Peshastin District. — The gravel deposits in the valley of the Peshastin 
are less extensive than in the Swauk district. The alluvial filling of the canyon- 
like valley of the upper half of Peshastin Creek is not so deep and does not show 
the well-marked terraces so prominent in the Swauk Valley. The gravel ap- 
pears to be gold bearing throughout, and the gold is rather uniform in distribu- 
tion. The large.'^t nuggets are found on the irregular surface of the pre-Ter- 
tiary slate which forms the bed rock. While the largest nuggets found in the 
Peshastin placers are less than an ounce in weight, and therefore not comparable 
with some of the Swauk gold, the Peshastin gold is fairly coarse and easily 
saved. The gold is high grade and is worth about eighteen dollars an ounce. 

The principal claims on the creek, below Blewett, are owned by the 
Mohawk Mining Company, which is hydrauliking the gravels with water from 
the upper Peshastin and from Negro Creek. Work which has been done on 
Shaser Creek shows the gravels to be gold bearing, and here also the gold is 
high grade. This fact is interesting, since, while the Shaser Creek drainage 


basin is almost wholly in the same formation as that of the Swauk Basin, the 
gold found in the two creeks is quite different, the Swauk gold containing a 
considerable amount of silver. 

"Stream gravels in other parts of the quadrangle, notably on North Fork 
of Teanaway and on Stafford Creek, have been prospected, but no gold has 
been found to warrant further work. 


"Peshastin District. — A few mines in the vicinity of Blewett have been 
producers for about twenty-five years. The many changes of management and 
methods of operating these properties, however, make it impossible at the pres- 
ent time to determine accurately the character of the ore that has been mined 
or to estimate even approximately the product during this period. Much of 
the ore has been low grade, and the gold has been extracted by means of 
arrastras, stamp mills, and a small cyanide plant, but not always with very suc- 
cessful results. The small stamp mill first built in this district was the first 
erected in the state of Washington. Another mill, with twenty stamps, has 
lately been rebuilt under the Warrior General management. 

"The best-known property in the district is the Culver group, comprising 
the Culver, Bobtail and Humming Bird claims, and now known as the War- 
rior General mine. This mine in its geologic relations and vein conditions is 
typical of the mines of the district. The country rock is the altered peridotite 
or serpentine, which exhibits the usual variations in color and structure. The 
Warrior General and the other mines are located in a zone of sheared serpen- 
tine, where the mineral-bearing solutions have found favorable conditions for 
ore deposition. This mineral zone has a general eastward course, and extends 
from east of Blewett across the Peshastin, up Culver Gulch, and across to the 
valley of Negro Creek. 

"The Warrior General vein has a trend of N. /CK to 80° E. and is very 
irregular in width. In the walls the serpentine is often talc-like in appearance, 
while the compact white quartz of the vein is sometimes banded with green 
talcose material. Sulphides are present in the ore, but are not at all prom- 
inent. The values are mostly in free gold, which is fine, although in some of 
the richer quartz the flakes may be detected with the unaided eye. 

"The workings in this mine consist of a number of tunnels driven at differ- 
ent levels in the north wall of Culver Gulch. These follow the vein for different 
distances, the vertical distance between the lowest tunnel (No. 9) and the 
highest opening of importance (No. 5) being about 650 feet, and connections 
have been made between most of the levels. The vein is approximately vertical, 
although it has minor irregularities. The quartz is seven to eight feet in width 
in some places, but pinches in others. In the upper tunnel. No. 5, the ore ap- 
pears to be broken quartz of the same character as that in the lower tunnels, 
occurring here much more irregularly, although the richest ore has been taken 
from the upper workings. Some very rich ore bodies have been mined, but 
they are small and their connections have not been traced. The most exten- 
sive work has been done from the lowest tunnel, and the latest work here 


shows that the serpentine, which is so much broken in many parts of this min- 
eralized belt, is here more solid, a remarkably well-defined and regular wall 
having been followed for over 300 feet. 

"Other properties in the same zone as the Warrior General are the Pole- 
pick, Peshastin, Fraction, Tiptop, Olden and Lucky Queen. Trese have all 
produced ore which has been worked in the Blewett mill. 

"An interesting feature in the geology of Culver Gulch is the probable 
existence of a fault. On the north side of the gulch, at an elevation of about 
3,750 feet, and near tunnel No. 5, a large basalt dike, twenty-five feet wide, is 
very prominent. This dike has a trend of N. 26° E., but its continuation is not 
seen on the south side of the gulch. Fifty feet lower on the south side of the 
gulch, however, a similar dike occurs with a trend of N. 50^ E., but this in turn 
can not be detected at the point where it ought to outcrop on the north side. If 
these are parts of the same dike, as seems probable, there has been faulting. 
Such a fault would cross the Culver vein at a low angle and probably between 
tunnels 5 and 6. The broken character of the ore in the upper tunnel indicates 
that movement has modified the vein at this point, and such movement may be 
connected with this supposed fault. At the time of the examination of this 
mine, connection had not been made between tunnels 5 and 6, and the relations 
of the dike to the ore body could not be determined. If the dike interrupts the 
vein, the mineralization is pre-Eocene in age ; while, on the other hand, if the 
vein continues through the twenty-five feet of basalt, even although it may 
vary in character with the change of the wall'rock, or if the fissure in which the 
quartz has been deposited follows the plane of the fault which it is believed has 
displaced the basalt dike, then the period of mineralization is not earlier than 
late Eocene, and the Peshastin gold-quartz may be of the same age as the veins 
of the Swauk district, a description of which is given below. 

"Negro Creek District. — Although this region is a continuation of the 
Peshastin mineralized zone, no claims in this district have become producing 
mines. The region has been prospected for many years and a number of small 
veins have been located, and some ore worked in a small mill and in arrastras. 
The ore is mostly quartz with some calcite and sulphurets. The veins are irreg- 
ular and the wall rock is generally serpentine, much of which is sheared and 
jointed. Many of the locations have been on the red or yellow 'nickel ledges' 
to which reference has been made; on a preceding page is an analysis of this 
rock, which has been considered by many prospectors to be itself an indication of 

"Swauk District. — The gold-quartz veins of the Swauk are very different 
from those in the vicinity of Blewett. They are in part narrow fissure veins of 
quartz with some calcite and talcose material, the wall rock being the sandstone 
or shale of the Swauk formation, of Eocene Age, or in some cases a diabase 
or basalt dike may fonn one wall. Quartz stringers running oflf from the vein 
are common, and at one locality thin bands of quartz follow the bedding planes 
of the sandstone. A peculiar type of vein material is locally termed 'bird's-eye' 
quartz. This occurs in several mines, and may be described as a friction breccia 
in which the angular fragments of black shale are inclosed in a matrix of quartz 
and calcite. The quartz shows radial crv'stallization outward from the separated 


fragments, and often open spaces remain into which the small crystals of quartz 
jproject. The walls of such veins are sometimes sharply defined, but in other 
cases many small veins of quartz traverse the shattered wall rock in every direc- 
tion, so as to render it difficult to draw the limits of the vein itself. This tran- 
iiition from the peculiar type of vein into the shattered rock shows the 'bird's- 
eye' quartz to be due to brecciation along more or less well-defined zones, fol- 
lowed by mineralization. 

"The 'bird's-eye' quartz has its gold content very irregularly distributed. 
The values are mostly in free gold, with a small amount of sulphurets present. 
The gold occcurs in fine grains within the quartz or next to the included shale 
fragments, and the approximate value of the ore may be readily found by 
panning, while in many cases the gold may be seen on the surface of the quartz, 
in the form of incrustations of leaf or wire gold; and in a specimen from the 
Gold Leaf mine perfect octahedral crystals of gold lie upon the ends of the 
-quartz crystals. The silicification sometimes extends into the country rock, and 
some values are found there. The gold of the quartz veins, like that of the 
gravels, is light colored and contains a considerable percentage of silver. In the 
Little York this silver is reported as amounting to about 20 per cent. 

"The quartz veins that have been opened in the upper basin of Williams 
■Creek have a general northeast trend, being thus roughly parallel with the 
basalt dikes. In the Cougar the hanging wall of the vein appears to be a 
badly decomposed basalt dike, while the Gold Leaf has one vein wholly in sand- 
stone and shale and another in a large diabase dike. The relation of the veins 
to the dikes is therefore not constant, but it may be noted that the fractures 
which have been filled by the vein material are usually approximately parallel 
to the fractures in the vicinity which have been filled by the intrusion of basalt. 
That there has been more than one period of fracturing, and that the period 
of mineralization was not exactly contemporaneous with the time of igneous 
intrusion, is shown by the occurrence of veins cutting the dikes themselves. 
It is probable, however, that the two processes occurred within the same geo- 
logic period and that the ore-bearing solutions derived their heat and possibly 
their mineral content from the intrusive and eruptive basalt of the area. 

"A number of quartz veins on Swauk, Williams, Boulder, and Baker 
creeks are being prospected at the present time, and in view of the richness of 
the alluvial gold which has been derived from the veins in this vicinity it would 
seem that the prospecting is well warranted. 


"In the Negro Creek district both copper and silver occur with gold in the 
veins already described. Many of the ores are essentially copper ores, but 
whether the bodies are extensive enough to warrant their development has not 
yet been determined. This copper belt extends westward along the headwaters 
of North Fork of Teanaway River and of Ingalls Creek, but at only one local- 
ity has any amount of ore been mined. The Grand View mine, situated on the 
east side of Fourth Creek about three miles southeast of Mount Stuart, has 
produced some native copper. The vein is in a zone of sheared serpentine, 



and, as far as could be determined from an examination of the deserted work- 
ings, the ore body is very irregular. With the native copper is the red oxide, 
or cuprite, and the ore is reported to carry varying amounts of gold. 

"There have been some prospectors at work recently in the vicinity of the 
forks of Taneum Creek, about five miles south of Cle Elum, and copper sul- 
phides are reported to have been found. The country rock here is the Easton 
schist and is everywhere more or less seamed with quartz. 

"As has been noted above, the gold of the Swauk district is argentiferous, 
the percentage of silver varying with the locality. No other silver ores are 
known to occur in the Mount Stuart quadrangle. 


"Nickel is a metal frequently reported in the assays from the Negro Creek 
district. Its presence in small amounts in the serpentine which is of such im- 
portance in this area is shown by the analysis given, and this ren- 
ders it probable that some nickel ores may be found. The peridotite and ser- 
pentine resemble closely the peridotite at Riddles, Oregon, where deposits of 
nickel ore occur. The green silicate of nickel, genthite, which is the ore at 
Riddles, was not detected, however, at any place within the area of serpentine 
in this quadrangle. The analysis of the 'nickel ledge' given on a preceding 
page, shows a smaller percentage of nickel even than that contained in the ser- 
pentine itself. 

"Cinnabar has been found at a few points at the head of Middle Fork 
of Teanaway River. In a prospect on the western edge of the quadrangle the 
cinnabar occurs along a joint place in the altered rock of the Peshastin forma- 
tion. The richness of the ore is evident, but the fact that such bands of cinna- 
bar are very thin may prevent the deposit from being of economic importance. 

"Roslyn Basin. — The most important mineral resource of Kittitas County 
is coal. The Roslyn Basin is one of the most productive coal basins on the 
Pacific Coast and it is included mostly within this quadrangle. The coal occurs 
in the upper part of the Roslyn formation, and the extent of this productive por- 
tion, together with the location of mines, is shown on the economic geology 
map. The upper beds of the Roslyn formation have been eroded except in the 
center of the basin, so that the coal field is limited to the immediate valley of 
the Yakima between Ronald and Teanaway. The outcrop of the Roslyn coal 
has been traced along the northern side of the basin, so that the outline here is 
accurately determined. On the southern side, however, the deep grave! filling of 
Yakima Valley conceals the rocks beneath, and this boundary of the basin as 
mapped is based wholly upon data derived from observation of the structure 
made elsewhere. As shown on the map, there are between ten and twelve square 
miles of coal lands in the Mount Stuart quadrangle. 

"The structure of the Roslyn Basin is simple. The dip of the coal beds 
is low, ten degrees to twenty degrees, and no faults have been discovered in the 
basin. Its axis pitches to the southeast, and since the fold is unsymmetrical. 


with low dips on its northern side, the axis of the basin is nearer the southern 
edge. Thus the deepest portion of the shallow basin is probably near the line 
of the Northern Pacific Railway at Cle Elum. 

"The Roslyn seam as worked at Roslyn contains four feet six inches of 
clean coal, while the seam worked at Cle Elum has a thickness of four feet two 
inches. The correlation of the Cle Elum coal with the Roslyn seam has been 
somewhat in question. The Cle Elum coal differs in character slightly from 
that mined at Roslyn, and on this account chiefly it was thought that they are 
separate seams and that the Cle Elum overlies all of the five coal beds cut by 
the Roslyn shaft. There is evidence now, however, that the two coals belong 
to the same seam. In the distance between the two mines the coal might be 
expected to exhibit differences in character, especially in view of the fact that 
east of the Cle Elum shaft the coal changes rapidly. Recently the outcrop of 
the coal has been traced from the one mine to the other, thus definitely fixing 
the correctness of the correlation. The coal is 640 feet beneath the surface at 
the Roslyn shaft and 250 feet at the Cle Elum shaft, but there is so nearly the 
same difference in elevation of the two shafts that the workings of the two 
mines will ultimately connect at that level. At present the developments are 
not sufficient to enable the exact form of the basin to be determined, but on the 
map its area is approximately outlined. The 'Big Dirty' seam, nineteen feet in 
thickness, occurs 200 feet above the Roslyn coal, and represents reserve supply, 
although the quality of this coal is such as to render it practically valueless 
under present conditions. 

"The Roslyn coal is a coking bituminous coal, well adapted for steam rais- 
ing and gas making. It is an excellent fuel for locomotives, and over one-half 
of the product of this field is sold for railroad consumption. The cleanness of 
this coal and its high percentage of lump make it well fitted for shipment. 
Naval tests have shown that the Roslyn coal ignites quickly, combustion being 
rapid and thorough, the coal swelling slightly on the surface of the fire. The 
percentage of ash is moderate, and the clinkers formed do not cling to the grate 
bars, except with forced draft. The amount of soot formed and the high tem- 
perature in the uptake are the only objectionable features of this coal. 

"Analyses of samples of coal collected in the Roslyn mine have been made 
in the United States Geological Survey laboratory by Mr. George Steiger. 

"These analyses indicate a remarkable uniformity throughout the large 
mine, and a noteworthy and valuable character of the coal is its low content of 
sulphur. Comparative boiler tests of Roslyn coal and of a high-grade Pennsyl- 
vania bituminous coal have been made by the Northern Pacific Railway Com- 
pany, and these show the former coal to have 90 per cent, of the efficiency of the 
eastern coal under a stationary boiler, and 78 to 80 per cent, in locomotives of 
the mogul and consolidation types, respectively. These figures indicate the value 
of the coal for steam-raising purposes. It is extensively used for gas making 
in Washington cities, yielding 4J cubic feet of 18-candlepower gas per pound of 
coal. The bright, clean character of this coal and the small proportion of fine 
coal make it well adapted for domestic use. The product of this field is largely 
used by the northern transcontinental railroads, and its market includes, in 
addition to the large cities of the state, San Francisco and Honolulu. 


"The mines of the Northwestern Improvement Company at Roslyn and 

, Cle Elum constitute the largest colliery in the state. The shaft at Cle Elum 
has not been connected with the Roslyn shaft, four miles distant, and the inter- 
vening ground represents the resen-e coal supply of these mines. The seam as 

. worked measures over four feet in thickness, and the coal is shipped just as it 
leaves the breasts. The daily capacity of this colliery with present equipment 

. is estimated at 5,000 tons, and the management is now working with the pur- 

^ pose of enlarging the plant to obtain a greater output. The output of the Mount 

. Stuart quadrangle in 1902 was 1,240,935 tons. 

"Coal has also been mined about two miles north of Cle Elum by the Ellens- 

, burg Coal Company at a point near the outcrop. Here the coal was four feet 

. thick and dips south, 10° east at an angle of 16°. 

"L. S. Storrs, geologist for the Northwestern Improvement Company, has 

..made analyses of the samples of the Roslyn coal from a series of openings ex- 
tending from the Cle Elum mine through the Roslyn mine to the northwest- 

. ern extremity of the basin. These analyses show the change in this seam from 
a lignitic, non-coking coal to a fairly good coking coal. The order of the samples 
js from the open part of the fold toward its more steeply inclined portion, be- 
yond the edge of the Mount Stuart quadrangle, and the change in the coal may 
be considered as an expression of the influence of the increasing dynamic action 
as the Cascade Range is approached. 

"Work has also been done on a coal prospect on the w-est escarpment of 
Table Mountain where the Roslyn formation is represented by about forty feet 
of clay with a seam of coal and bone. This bed dips 32° to the east. Similar 
coal prospects are seen in the Roslyn formation at the head of First Creek. 
Here massive sandstone occurs with the shale, but the coal seams are very 
impure, and the surface displacements prevent any determination of their ex- 

"The black shales in the Swauk formation have been prospected somewhat 
for coal on Camas Creek, but witliout success. More extensive exploration 
has been made in the Manastash formation, which contains some carbonaceous 
beds. On Taneum Creek coal seams occur, but the work done here has not 

, shown them to be of sufficient value to warrant further development. The 
conditions are similar on Manastash Creek, where prospect tunnels have been 
opened on the coal at several localities. The quality of the coal is very poor 
and quite unlike that of the Roslyn coal. One of the larger seams thus pros- 
pected is in close proximity to a large basaltic dike, which would cut oilf the 
extension of the bed. 


"Building Stone. — The sandstone of the Swauk and Roslyn formations is 
fairly well adapted for construction work. The Swauk sandstone is more 
thoroughly indurated than the Roslyn sandstone, but the more massive beds 
occur in localities which are not accessible. Sandstone from the productive 
portion of the Roslyn formation has been used somewhat in building, but no 
quarries have been opened. The tuffaceous sandstone of the Ellensburg forma- 
tion has been used in buildings in Ellensburg, being obtained from a quarry a 


few miles beyond the southeast corner of the Mount Stuart quadrangle. Usu- 
ally this stone is too soft and friable for use as a building stone. 

"Road Metal. — The alluvial gravels of the valleys have in many cases 
favored the construction of good roads in this region. In some localities, "On 
the other hand, the clay beds in the valley deposits have rendered the roads' 
almost impassable through part of the year. Except in rare cases no attention- 
has been given to the use of better material for road construction. The best- 
of road metal, however, is close at hand in much of the area. The Yakima 
basalt which forms the escarpment of the upper Yakima Valley and bounds 
the western edge of Kittitas Valley is a rock which, owing to its hardness atnd 
close texture, makes excellent material for this purpose. This basalt is too 
high above the floor of the upper valley to be easily obtained, but the small areas 
of Teanaway basalt which project through the alluvial gravels would furnish 
similar material. The exposure of this rock at 'Deadmans Curve' on the railtoad 
three miles south of Roslyn, is well situated for a supply of road metal for the' 
country road between Cle Elum and Roslyn, a road which is more traveled than" 
any other in the county. A place where this basalt may be obtained already pre- 
pared for use is near the upper road on the south side of the valley about two" 
and one-half miles southeast of Cle Elum. A pit has been opened in this crushe^d 
basalt near the schoolhouse, and some of the rock seems to have been use'd on" 
the road in the vicinity. This exceptional deposit of road material can be very 
easily worked, and at comparatively small expense the roads of this vicinity 
could be greatly improved. 

"In Swauk Valley two sources of material are available for fitting the' 
roads for heavy teaming. The basalt through which the road is cut beI6\Ar 
Liberty is well adapted for road construction, when broken into small frag- 
ments, while above Liberty dikes of similar basalt outcrop at several points' 
by the roadside. ' 

"The Northern Pacific Railway Company has operated a rock crusher in 
the canyon under Lookout Mountain. The cliffs above furnished a supply of 
broken basalt which was converted into a high grade of ballast for the railroad." 

While the foregoing extracts are from the Geologic Atlas of 1904, and 
hence old, the general views given are of permanent accuracy and value. 
Changes have occurred in details. 

It may be added that the other folios dealing with the quadrangles adjoin- 
ing the Mount Stuart quadrangle on the south give similar details with the 
same minute and technical accuracy, the general history being similar. The 
author is incorporating the part dealing with the upper Yakima as being a valu- 
able illustration of the general nature of these reports. As it is manifestly im- 
possible to go into further detail, the reader is referred to these Geologic Atlases 
of the United States Government as the only complete body of references upon 
this very interesting and important subject. 


To the above data we desire to add a valuable contribution to the State 
Geological Report for 1902, pertaining to the artesian supply of the Yakima 
Valley, by C. A. Ruddy: 


In this state the greatest progress in developing the artesian water supply 
has been made in the Yakima Valley. 

"The oldest rock which outcrops in this valley is the Columbia lava, of 
Miocene Age. It forms part of the great lava field which covers south- 
eastern Washington and Oregon and extends southward and eastward into 
Idaho, Nevada and California. In Yakima County it is made up of a succes- 
sion of flows varying in thickness from a few feet to a hundred or more, the 
line of contact between the layers being usually very well marked. Some layers 
show a marked difference in jointing from those above and below. The rock 
is a very dark basalt, usually quite compact, but often more or less vesicular. 
In many places beds of volcanic tuff are found between the basalt flows. Basalt, 
in its molten state, is one of the least viscous of lavas. When in its liquid state 
it is poured forth from a vent, and instead of building up a cone it spreads 
far out as a nearly horizontal sheet. For this reason we find no volcanic cones 
in the Columbia lava field. Each flow found its way to the surface through 
a fissure which was afterwards covered up by succeeding flows. The interval 
of time between successive flows in this region must have been in some cases 
many years, and even centuries. Sufficient time elapsed for soil to form and 
forests to grow thereon, before being overwhelmed by the next overflow. This 
is shown by the presence of charred wood between the flows of lava. 

"During the long ages in which the older rocks were becoming more 
and more deeply submerged by the molten flood, there was little folding or tilting 
of the rocks in this region. The Cascade Mountains were very much lower than 
at present, especially in the southern part of the state. When the outflows 
of basaltic lava had almost ceased, there came a change, so that the region now 
forming the valley of the Yakima formed part of the bed of a great fresh-water 
lake. This lake existed so long that sediments more than a thousand feet in 
thickness were deposited on its bed. It was a time of great volcanic activity. 
as shown by the character of the sediments. These are largely volcanic ash 
and broken fragments of pumice. The eruptions which furnished this material 
were largely of the explosive type, rather than the quiet outflows which char- 
acterized the formation of the Columbia lava plain. Along the ancient shore 
line conglomerate beds occur, made up of boulders of light-colored andesite 
and other volcanic rocks. The great variations of the beds show that the 
oscillations of the land were comparatively rapid and irregular. Sometimes 
the water of the lake would recede and the streams would cut rapidly into their 
soft sediments; then the waters would encroach again and new sediments 
would be spread out, leveling oft" the old irregularities. 

"At intervals throughout the period in which the lake sediments were 
accumulating, there came belated outbreaks of basaltic lava which spread out 
over the soft sediments. These were the last convulsive signs of life of those 
great volcanic forces which were active throughout a great part of the Miocene 
period, and which caused the formation of the Columbia lava fields, the greatest 
l>ody of lava in the known world. 

"After the lake was finally drained the greater part of the sediments were 
carried away by erosion, but remnants still remain. They form the light- 
colored sedimentary beds outcropping in places in the Yakima Valley and 


about its borders. These are the rocks in which artesian water has been 
found. They form what is known as the EUensburg formation, and are of 
Miocene age, as shown by the fossil leaves preserved in them. The most 
extensive outcrops are seen along the Natches River and at White Bluflfs on 
the Columbia. 

"At the close of the period just described, the region to the westward 
was gradually uplifted so as to form the Cascade Mountains. At the same 
time or later, a series of low east and west folds were formed between the 
Columbia River and the Cascades, nearly at right angles to the axis of the 
mountain range. The ridges are not due to faults, as formerly supposed; 
they are all anticlines, while the valleys between them are synclines, and the 
Naches River another. The crests of the ridges have been almost entirely 
denuded of the EUensburg beds, so that only the basalt is left. One of these, 
known as the Selah Ridge, borders the Yakima Valley on the north, and 
another, the Yakima Ridge, borders it on the south. The Yakima River has 
cut gaps through the ridges and crosses them at right angles. It evidently 
had its course established before the folding began; then as the folds arose 
slowly the river kept pace with them, cutting down its channel. 

"At some period later than the Miocene, a great stream of lava came 
flowing down from somewhere between the headwaters of the Naches and 
Tieton rivers, covering the hills and obliterating the valleys. It reached as far 
east as the mouth of the Cowiche Creek and then stopped. The rock is a very 
dark andesite. It forms a conspicuous landmark, standing as bold cliffs on 
the lower Tieton and at the junction of Cowiche Creek with the Naches River. 
It is safe to say that nowhere on the surface of this lava can artesian water 
be found. It stands at too high an elevation, and any water contained in the 
beds below would find a readier outlet by means of springs along the base of 
the cliffs where the andesite meets the underlying rocks. 

"As shown by the geological map, the EUensburg beds extend westward 
a mile or two beyond Tampico Postoffice and occupy practically all of the valley 
below that point. The city of North Yakima stands at an elevation of about 
1,067 feet above sea level. EUensburg beds have been traced twenty miles 
west of that point to an elevation of 2,350 feet. On the hills north of Tampico 
Postoffice they outcrop as beds of conglomerate, sandstone and volcanic ash, 
dipping slightly to the eastward. 

"North Yakima had a total precipitation in 1900 of 7.22 inches. To the 
westward as the mountains are approached the precipitation increases. It 
seems probable that most of the water which finds its way into the strata falls 
upon the western border of the EUensburg beds, and gradually finds its way 
down into the lower part of the valley. 

"The two synclines occupied respectively by the Naches River and Ahtanum 
Creek in their upper valleys gradually merge into one as they approach the 
Yakima River. Where the Yakima has cut its way across the valley there is 
only one syncline. On both the north and south sides, parallel to the longer 
sides of the valley, the beds dip towards the valley at a steep angle. On the 
eastern and western sides they dip more gradually. The valley is underlaid by 


Ellensburg beds to a depth of over a thousand feet, while along the elevated 
edges it has all been eroded away, leaving the bare basalt ridges. 

"A large part of the rain which falls on the ridges is absorbed by the 
rocks as soon as it reaches the porous beds at the base of the hills. Along the 
western border of the basin the tops of the hills are at such an elevation as 
materially to increase the rainfall. Ahtanum Creek flows over the Ellensburg 
beds for a number of miles, and from measurements made of its volume at 
different places along its course, it is evident that a considerable part of it is 
absorbed by the rocks. 

"The part of the valley east of the Yakima River is known as the Moxee 
Valley. It is here that nearly all of the artesian wells are located. There are 
now more than thirty wells within an area of six square miles. The following 
table, taken from the report of Air. George Otis Smith, on the Geology and 
Water Resources of a Portion of Yakima County, Water Supply and Irriga- 
tion Papers of the United States Geological Survey, No. 55, gives most of the 
important information concerning these wells: 

"It is estimated that the total area irrigated by these w^ells amounts to 
about 1,650 acres. Some of them are said to be decreasing in volume, and 
in some instances even to have ceased flowing altogether. This may be due 
to caving of the wells due to improper construction. It is quite possible, 
of course, that the basin may now be developed to its full capacity, so that 
the drilling of more wells would not increase the total flow. If such were the 
case, the water which would flow from new wells would simply decrease by that 
much the amount which flowed from the other wells. Heretofore the wells 
have been allowed to flow freely throughout the year, but at the last session 
of the State Legislature a law was passed compelling owners of wells to keep 
them closed from the first day of October in any year until the first day of 
the following April. This does not prevent the use of water for stock or for 
domestic purposes. The effect of this law will be salutary in preventing the 
waste of water during the season when it is not necessary for irrigation, and 
will greatly increase the capacity of the basin. The amount of land in this 
part of the valley which can be brought under cultivation is limited only by 
the supply of water. 

"On the western side of the Yakima River the demand for artesian water 
is not so urgent. A number of canals bring water from the Naches River, and 
supply all the lower part of the valley. Other canals utilize the waters of 
Ahtanum Creek. Up to the present time only one artesian well has been drilled 
west of the Yakima. This is on the farm of Mr. George Wilson, in Wide 
Hollow, and irrigates about fifty acres. It is important as showing the pres- 
ence of artesian water in this part of the valley, so that the problem is simplified 
for anyone who in the future wishes to sink a well in the same locality. 


"In the Kittitas Valley, in which the city of Ellensburg is situated, the 
same geological formations occur as in the Yakima Valley farther south. Its 
basin-like structure, however, is not so clearly marked. The valley is underlaid 


by the Ellensburg formation to an unknown depth. On every side of the valley 
the enclosing hills are of basalt. The Yakima River flows through the valley 
from northwest to southeast and escapes through a deep notch cut in the 
enclosing ridge. A well was sunk in the valley a number of years ago, and is 
said to have reached basalt at 700 feet. Water came up within forty feet of 
the surface. Mr. Smith, in the report previously referred to, is of the opinion' 
that the chances of obtaining artesian water are sufficiently favorable to justify 
the drilling of another well." (Mr. Ruddy's report, while also outdated, pos- 
sesses permanent value and hence we preserve it.) 

For the sake of accuracy, it should be added that, since Mr. Ruddy's report 
was made, artesian water has been discovered in Walla Walla of such copious 
supply as to make it far exceed any other region in the Northwest for artesian' 

In connection with the artesian development special note should be made 
of the fact that there is in the city of Yakima a flowing well which supplies a 
natatorium operated by the Artesian Mineral Springs Company. This well is- 
2,100 feet deep, flows 800,000 gallons per day, the water having a temperature: 
of 78°. There are four flows, but all except one are shut off. 






Any history of any part of America would be incomplete without some 
view of the aborigines. Such a view is necessary to insure accuracy of state- 
ment and to gain philosophical perspectives of history. Such a view is required 
also by justice to the natives themselves. The ever westward movement of 
American settlement has been marked by trails of blood and fire. Warfare has 
set its red stains upon nearly every region wrested from barbarism to civili- 
zation. This has been in many cases due to flagrant wrong, greed, and lust 
by the civilized man. It has been due also to savage cruelty by the barbarian. 
Perhaps more than to wrong by either party, it has been due to that great, 
unexplained and unexplainable tragedy of human history, the inability of 
either party to comprehend the viewpoint of the other. And yet, most of all, 
it has been due to that inevitable and remorseless evolution of all life by which 
one race of plants, animals, and human beings progresses by the extermina- 
tion of others. Perhaps the philosophical mind, while viewing with pity the 
sufferings and with reprobation the crimes and irrational treatment forced upon 
the natives by the civilized race, and while viewing with equal horror the 
atrocities by which the losers in the inevitable struggle sought to maintain 
themselves — if to such a philosophical mind comes the question who was to 
blame for all this seemingly needless woe — must answer that the universe is 
mainly to blame, and we have not yet reached the point to explain the universe. 

We have found in the preceding chapter, and shall find in succeeding 
chapters, frequent occasion to refer to events in connection with Indians. Our 
aim in this chapter is rather to give an outline of locations of different tribes, 
to sketch briefly some of their traits as illustrated in their myths and customs, 
and to state the chief published sources of our knowledge in regard to those 
myths and customs. The history of Indian wars, which also includes other 
incidental matter about them, will be found in a later chapter. 


The literature of Indian life is voluminous. Practically all the early 
explorers from Lewis and Clark down devoted large space to the natives. The 
pioneer settlers knew them individually, and some of them derived much matter 


of general value which has been preserved in brief newspaper articles or handed 
down in story and tradition. Out of this vast mass a few writers have formed 
groups of topics which serve well for those generalizations with a birdseye 
view like this must be content to take. Foremost among the writers dealing 
with the subject in a large way is Hubert Howe Bancroft. Although his great 
work on the history of the Pacific Coast has been severely and sometimes justly 
censured, yet it must be granted that, as a vast compendium of matter dealing 
with the subject, it is monumental and can be turned to with confidence in 
the authenticity of its sources and in the general accuracy of its statements of 
fact, even if not always in the breadth of its opinions or the reliability of its 

In Volume One, Chapter III, of Bancroft's "Native Races," there is a 
generalized grouping of the Columbia native tribes which may well be accepted 
as a study of ethnology, derived from many observations and records by those 
early explorers most worthy of credence. These general outlines by the author 
are supported by numerous citations from those authorities. The Columbians 
occupied, according to Bancroft, all the vast region west of the Rocky Mountains 
lying between the Hyperboreans on the north and the Californians on the 
south. They are divided into certain families, and these families into nations, 
and the nations into tribes. There is naturally much inter-tribal mingling, and 
yet the national and even tribal peculiarities are preserved with remarkable 
distinctness. Beginning on the northern coast region around Queen Charlotte 
Island are the Haidahs. South of them on the coast comes the family of the 
Nootkas, centered on Vancouver Island. Then comes the family of the Sound 
Indians, and still further south, that of the Chinooks. Turning to the east 
side of the Cascades, which more especially interests us, we find on the north 
the Shushwap family, embracing all the inland tribes of British Columbia south 
of latitude 52° 30'. This group includes the Okanogans, Kootenais, and others 
of the border between British Columbia and northeastern Washington and 
northern Idaho and northwestern Montana. Then comes the Salish family, in 
which we find the Spokanes, Flatheads, Pend Oreilles, and Calispels, as far 
south as the Palouse region. There we begin with the family of Sahaptins, 
the one which particularly concerns us in the Yakima country. Numerous 
citations in Bancroft's volume indicate that the early explorers and ethnologists 
did not altogether agree on the subdivisions of this family. It would seem that 
the groups have been somewhat arbitrarily made, yet there was evidently con- 
siderable effort to employ scientific methods by study of affiliations in language, 
customs, treaty relations, range, and other peculiarities. In general terms it 
may be said that the different writers pretty nearly agree in finding some six 
or eight nations, each divided into several tribes. These are the Nez Perces 
or Chopunnish, the Yakimas, the Palouses, the Walla Wallas, the Cayuses, 
the Umatillas, the \\'ascos, and the Klikitats. The tribes are variously grouped. 
The modern spelling appears in the above list, but there is a bewildering variety 
in the early books. This is especially true of Palouse and Walla Walla. The 
former appears under the following forms : Palouse, Paloose, Palus, Peloose, 
I'elouse, Pavilion, Pavion and Peluse. The word means "gooseberry," accord- 
ing to Thomas Beall, of Lewiston. Walla Walla, which means, according to 


"Old Bones," the Cayiise chief, the place where the four creeks meet, has the 
following variants: Oualla Oulla (French), Walla Wallapum, Wollow 
Wollah, Wallaolla, Wolla Walla, Wallawaltz, Walla Walle, Wallahwallah, 
Wala-Wala, Wollahwollah. For Umatilla we find Umatallow, Utalla, Utilla, 
Emmatilly, and Youmalallum. Cayuse has as variants, Cailloux, Kayuse, 
Skyuse, Cajouse, Caagua, Kyoose, and Kyoots. Dr. Whitman's station, now 
known as Waiilatpu, place of rye-grass, appears in sundry forms, as Weyeilat, 
Willetpu, and Wieletpoo. 

Yakima also has several variants, as Yakama, Yockooman, Yackiman, 
Yakeema, Eyakemah, Yokimaw, Eyakama, Eyakema, and Ekama. Dr. Tolmie 
records that the Sound Indians had the name Strobshaddat for the Yakima 
River. Lewis and Clark got the name Tapteal. This name also has many 
forms : Taptaal, Tapteet, Taptete, Tapetett, Tapatett, Taptul. According to 
A. J. Splawn, this was the name of the original location of Prosser. Klickitat 
has several spellings. The most varied spelling is for Naches. It is found 
as Nachehese, Natchess, Nachese, Nahchees, Natchese, Natches, Natchez, 
Nachtehis, and finally the present most reasonable and phonetic form, Naches, 
In Coues' edition of the Lewis and Clark journals, page 973, we find the name 
of a tributary of the Yakima given as Nocktock, which must be the Naches. 
Mocksee, Moxee, Moksee, etc., are various forms of that pioneer location. 
Selah has various forms also. In the same edition of Lewis and Clark just 
given we find Selartar, which must be the Selah. The Wenatchee also has sundry 
spellings, as Wenatsha, Wenatshapam, and others. Ahtanum is also Atinam, 
Atahnum, Atanum, Athanam, etc. 

The Sahaptin family seem to have been in general of the best grade of 
Indians. Lewis and Qark found the Xez Perces a noble, dignified and honest 
race, though they say that they were close and reserved in bargaining. Gen- 
erally speaking, the inland Indians were far superior in physique and in mental 
capacity to those of the Sound or the lower Columbia. Townsend, in his 
"Narrative," goes so far as to say that the Nez Perces and Cayuses were almost 
universally fine-looking, robust men. He compares one of the latter with the 
Apollo Belvedere. Gairdner says that the Walla Wallas were generally power- 
ful men, at least six feet high, and the Cayuses were still stouter and more 
athletic. Others remarked that very handsome young girls were often seen 
among the Walla Wallas. The Yakimas were generally tall, straight, fine- 
looking people. The girls were, as often now, very handsome. With them 
doubtless, as with other Indians, the drudgery of their lives and their early 
child-bearing made them prematurely old, and they soon lost their beauty. 

There seems to have been much variation among these natives as to per- 
sonal habits and morality. The Nez Perces and Cayuses are almost always 
described as clean, both of body and character. Palmer, in his Journal, says 
that the Nez Perces were better clad than any others, the Cayuses well clothed, 
Walla Wallas naked and half-starved. The last statement seetns not to corre- 
spond with the observations of Lewis and Clark. Wilkes says that "at The 
Dalles women go nearly naked, for they wear little else than what may be 
termed a breech-cloth, of buckskin, which is black and filthy with dirt." About 
the same seems to have been true of the Sokulks. But among the Tushepaws 


and Nez Perces and Cayuses the men and women often wore long robes of 
buffalo or elk skin, decorated with beads and sea-shells. Farnham speaks of 
the Cayuses as the "Imperial tribe of Oregon, claiming jurisdiction over the 
whole Columbia region." 

The chief wealth of these tribes was in horses. Dr. Tolmie expressed 
the supposition that horses had come from the southward at no very long time 
prior to White discovery. It is well known that a prehistoric horse, the hip- 
parion, not larger than a deer, existed in Oregon. Remains of that creature 
have been found in the John Day Basin. But there is no evidence that there 
was a native horse among the Indians of Oregon. Their "Cayuse horses," to 
all indications, came from the horses of California, and they in turn were the 
offspring of the horses brought to Mexico and southern California by the 
Spanish conquerors. A. J. Splawn in "Kamiakin," gives a valuable discussion 
of the origin of horses. At the time of the advent of the Whites, horses 
existed in immense numbers all through the Columbia Valley. It was not 
uncommon for a Yakima, Klickitat, Cayuse, or Nez Perce chief to have bands 
of hundreds, even thousands. Canoes were a highly esteemed possession of 
the Indians on the navigable rivers, and they had acquired marvellous skill in 
handling them. The lower Columbia Indians spend so much time curled up 
in canoes that they were distorted and inferior in physique to the "bunch-grass 

Like all barbarian people the Indians of the Columbia Valley were next 
door to starvation a good part of the time. They gorged themselves when food 
was plentiful, and thus were in distress when the bounty of Nature failed, for 
there was no accumulated store, as under civilized conditions. Their food 
consisted of deer, elk, and other game, in which the whole Cascade Mountain 
country with the adjoining plains abounded, and of salmon and sturgeon, 
which they obtained in the Columbia, Snake and Yakima rivers by spearing 
and by ingenious bone hooks. They also obtained an abundance of vegetable 
food from the camas and couse, which were common, and in fact still are, in 
this region. Rather curiously, considering the fertility of central Washington, 
there are very few wild berries, nuts or fruits. The huckleberry is practically 
the only berry in large quantities, and wild cherries the only kind of wild fruit. 
A wild currant grows vigorously on the lower Yakima and along the Columbia. 

Such were the physical conditions, hastily sketched, of the natives of 
central Washington. Their mental and moral characteristics may be derived 
in a degree from the events narrated in the pages which follow. In their best 
estate they were faithful, patient, hospitable, and generous. In their worst 
estate, in which the Whites more usually found them, they were vindictive, 
suspicious, cruel, and remorseless. Too many cases of the former type occurred 
to justify any sweeping condemnation. 


One of the finest examples of Indian character in its better light is shown 
by an event in this region narrated by Ross Cox in his "Adventures on the 
Columbia River." The party of trappers of the North Western Fur Company, 


of which Cox was one, was on its way from Astoria to "Ockinegan," as he 
calls it — a company of sixty-four in eight canoes. When at a point in the 
Columbia about equi-distant between the mouth of the "Wallah Wallah" and 
that of the Lewis (Snake) a number of canoes filled with natives bore down 
upon their squadron, apparently without hostile design. But within a few 
minutes the Indians evinced the purpose of seizing the canoes of the Whites 
and plundering them by violence. It was soon give-and-take, and arrows 
began to fly. Pretty soon one of the company, McDonald, seeing an Indian 
just at the point of letting fly an arrow at him, fired and killed the Indian. 
A struggle ensued, but the Whites broke loose and defended themselves suffi- 
ciently to reach an island, which must have been the one nearly opposite the 
present Two Rivers, a few miles below the junction of the Snake and Columbia. 
It was a gloomy prospect. Cox says that they had pretty nearly given up 
hope of escaping and had written farewell notes, which they hoped might reach 
their friends. It was a dark, gloomy night in November, with a drizzling rain. 
During the night the party saw signal fires on the shore to the northwest, 
followed by others to east and west. Soon after a large band of ravens passed 
over, the fluttering of whose wings they could hear. This had a most depress- 
ing efifect on the superstitious Canadians, and one of them declared that the 
appearance of ravens at night was an infallible sign of approaching death. 
Mr. Keith, one of the Scotchmen, seeing the gloomy state of their minds and 
wishing to forestall the efifect, instantly joined the conversation, declaring that 
while there was such a general fear of a night flight of ravens, yet it never 
worked disaster unless the flight was accompanied by croaking, but that when 
ravens passed over without croaking, they were a harbinger of good news. 
Much relieved, the Canadians regained their nerve and shouted out, "you 
are right, you are right! Courage! There is no danger!" The beleaguered 
band on their dismal retreat waited for the dawn, making all preparations 
for resistance to the death. Early in the morning the party crossed to the 
north bank of the river, and there waited developments. A large force of 
Indians soon appeared, well anned, and yet ready for a parley. The Whites 
sent forward their interpreter, Michel, to indicate their willingness to parley. 
A group of thirty or forty of the relatives of the dead Indians advanced, chant- 
ing a death song, which, as they afterwards learned, was about as follows: 
"Rest, brothers, rest! You will be avenged. The tears of your widows shall 
cease to flow, when they behold the blood of your murderers; and your young 
children shall leap and sing with joy, on seeing their scalps. Rest, brothers, 
in peace ; we shall have blood." 

The event which followed this lugubrious song cannot be better told than 
by following the vivid narrative of Cox: 

"They took up their position in the center, and the whole party then formed 
themselves into an extended crescent. Among them were natives of the Chim- 
napum, Yackaman, Sokulk, and Wallah Wallah tribes. Their language is 
nearly the same ; but they are under separate chiefs, and in time of war always 
unite against the Shoshone or Snake Indians, a powerful nation, who inhabit 
the plains to the southward. 

"From Chili to Athabasca, and from Nootka to Labrador, there is an inde- 


scribable coldness about an American savage that checks familiarity. He is a 
stranger to our hopes, our fears, our joys, or our sorrows; his eyes are seldom 
moistened by a tear, or his features relaxed by a smile; and whether he basks 
beneath a vertical sun on the burning plains of the Amazonia, or freezes in 
eternal winter on the ice-bound shores of the Arctic Ocean, the same piercing 
black eyes, and stern immobility of countenance, equally set at naught the skill 
of the physiognomist. 

"On the present occasion, their painted skin, cut hair, and naked bodies, 
imparted to their appearance a degree of ferocity from which we boded no 
good result. They remained stationary for some time, and preserved a pro- 
found silence. 

"Messrs. Keith, Stewart, LaRocque, and the interpreter, at length advanced 
about midway between the two parties unarmed, and demanded to speak with 
them ; upon which two chiefs, accompanied by six of the mourners, proceeded 
to join them. Mr. Keith offered them the calumet of peace, which they refused 
to accept, in a manner at once cold and repulsive. 

"Michel was thereupon ordered to tell them that, as we had always been 
on good terms with them, we regretted much that the late unfortunate circum- 
stance had occurred to disturb our friendly intercourse ; but that as we were 
anxious to restore harmony, and to forget what had passed, we were now 
willing to compensate the relations of the deceased for the loss they had sus- 

"They inquired what kind of compensation was intended; and on being 
informed that it consisted of two suits of chief's clothes, with blankets, tobacco 
and ornaments for the women, etc., it was indignantly refused; and their spokes- 
man stated that no discussion could be entered into until two white men (one 
of whom should be the big red-headed chief) were delivered to them to be 
sacrificed, according to their law, to the spirits of the departed warriors. 

"Every eye turned on McDonald, who, on hearing the demand, grinned 
horribly a ghastly smile ; and who, but for our interposition, would on the spot 
have chastised the insolence of the speaker. The men were horrified, and fear 
and trembling became visible in their countenance, until Mr. Keith, who had 
observed those symptoms of terror, promptly restored their confidence, by tell- 
ing them that such an ignominious demand should never be complied with. 

"He then addressed the Indians in a calm, firm voice, and told them that 
no consideration whatever should induce him to deliver a white man to their 
vengeance ; that they had been the original aggressors, and in their unjustifiable 
attempt to seize by force our property, the deceased had lost their lives ; that 
he was willing to believe the attack was unpremeditated, and under that im- 
pression he had made the offer of compensation. He assured them that he 
preferred their friendship to their enmity; but that, if unfortunately they were 
not actuated by the same feelings, that white men would not, however deeply 
they might lament it, shrink from the contest. At the same time he reminded 
them of our superiority in arms and ammunition; and that for every man be- 
longing to our party who might fall, ten of their friends at least would suffer,^ 
and concluded by requesting them calmly to weigh and consider all these mat- 
ters, and to bear in recollection that upon the result of their deliberation would 


in a great measure depend whether white men would remain in their country 
or quit it forever. 

"The interpreter having repeated the above, a violent debate took place 
among the principal natives. One party advised the demand for the two white 
jnen to be withdrawn, and to ask in their place a greater quantity of goods and 
ammunition ; while the other, which was by far the mo,st numerous, and to 
-which all the relatives of the deceased belonged, opposed all compromise, unac- 
companied by the delivery of the victims. 

"The arguments and threats of the latter gradually thinned the ranks of 
the more moderate ; and Michel told Mr. Keith that he was afraid an accom- 
modation was impossible. Orders were thereupon issued to prepare for action, 
and the men were told, when they received from Mr. Keith the signal, to be 
■certain that each shot should tell. 

"In the meantime a number of the natives had withdrawn some distance 
from the scene of deliberation, and from their fierce and threatening looks, 
joined to occasional whispers, we momentarily expected they would commence 
an attack. 

"A few of their speakers still lingered, anxious for peace ; but their 
feeble efiforts were unavailing when opposed to the more powerful influence of 
the hostile party, who repeatedly called on them to retire, and allow the white 
man to proceed on their journey as well as they could. All but two chiefs and 
an elderly man, who had taken an active part in the debate, obeyed the call, 
and they remained for some time apparently undecided what course to adopt. 

"From this group our eyes glanced to an extended line of the enemy who 
-were forming behind them ; and from their motions it became evident that their 
intention was to outflank us. We therefore changed our position, and formed 
our men into single files, each man about three feet from his comrade. The 
friendly natives began to fall back slowly towards their companions, most of 
whom had already concealed themselves behind large stones, tufts of wormwood 
and furze bushes, from which they could have taken a more deadly aim; and 
Messrs. Keith and Stewart, who had now abandoned all hopes of an amicable 
termination, called for their arms. 

"An awful pause ensued, when our attention was arrested by the loud 
tramping of horses, and immediately after twelve mounted warriors dashed into 
the space between the two parties, where they halted and dismounted. They 
were headed by a young chief, of fine figure, who instantly ran up to Mr. Keith, 
to whom he presented his hand in the most friendly manner, which example 
-was followed by his companions. He then commanded our enemies to quit 
their places of concealment, and to appear before him. His orders were 
promptly obeyed; and having made himself acquainted with the circumstances 
that led to the deaths of the two Indians, and our efforts towards affecting a 
reconciliation, he addressed them in a speech of considerable length, of which 
the following is a brief sketch : 

"'Friends and relations! Three snows only have passed over our heads 
since we were a poor miserable people. Our enemies, the Shoshones, during 
the summer stole our horses, by which we were prevented from hunting, and 
drove us from the banks of the river, so that we could not get fish. In winter 

Her deerskin rol.c. .liToratcl with heads, elk teeth 
one thousand dolla 

1 grizzly-bear claws, is worth ovi 


they burned our lodges by night; they killed our relations; they treated our 
wives and daughters like dogs, and left us either to die from cold or starvation, 
or become their slaves. 

" 'They were numerous and powerful ; we were few, and weak. Our 
hearts were as the hearts of little children; we could not fight like warriors, 
and were driven like deer about the plains. When the thunders rolled and the 
rains poured, we had no spot in which we could seek shelter; no place, save 
rocks, whereon we could lay our heads. Is such the case today? No, my 
relations! It is not. We have driven the Shoshones from our hunting- 
grounds, on which they dare not now appear, and have regained possession of 
the lands of our fathers, in which they and their fathers' fathers lie buried. We 
have horses and provisions in abundance, and can sleep unmolested with our 
wives and our children, without dreading the midnight attacks of our enemies. 
Our hearts are great within us, and we are nozv a nation! 

" 'Who, then, my friends, have produced this change ? The white men. 
In exchange for our horses and for our furs, they gave us guns and ammuni- 
tion; then we became strong; we killed many of our enemies, and forced them 
to fly from our lands. And are we to treat those who have been the cause of 
this happy change with ingratitude? Never! Never! The white people have 
never robbed us; and, why should we attempt to rob them? It was bad, very 
bad! — and they were right in killing the robbers!' Here symptoms of im- 
patience and dissatisfaction became manifest among a group consisting chiefly 
of the relations of the deceased ; on observing which, he continued in a loud 
tone: 'Yes! I say they acted right in killing the robbers; and who among you 
will dare to contradict mef 

" 'You all know well my father was killed by the enemy, when you all de- 
serted him like cowards ; and, while the Great Master of Life spares me, no 
hostile foot shall again be set on our lands. I know you all ; and I know that 
those who are afraid of their bodies in battle are thieves when they are out 
of it; but the warrior of the strong arm and the great heart will never rob a 
friend.' After a short pause, he resumed : 'My friends, the white men are 
brave and belong to a great nation. They are many moons crossing the great 
lake in coming from their own country to serve us. If you were foolish enough 
to attack them, they would kill a great many of you ; but suppose you should 
succeed in destroying all that are now present, what would be the consequence? 
A greater number would come next year to revenge the death of their relations, 
and they would annihilate our tribe ; or should not that happen, their friends at 
home, on hearing of their deaths, would say we were a bad and wicked people, 
and men would never more come among us. We should then be reduced to 
our former state of misery and persecution; our ammunition would be quickly 
expended ; our guns would become useless, and we should again be driven from 
our lands, and the lands of our fathers, to wander like deer and wolves in the 
midst of our woods and plains. I therefore say the white men must not be 
injured! They have oiYered you compensation for the loss of your friends; 
take it;, but, if you should refuse, I tell you to your faces that I will join them 
with my own band of warriors; and should one white man fall by the arrow 
of an Indian, that Indian, if he were mv brother, with all his family, shall be- 



come victims to my vengeance.' Then raising his voice, he called out, 'Let the 
Wallah Wallahs, and all who love me, and are fond of the white men, come 
forth and smoke the pipe of peace !' Upwards of one hundred of our late adver- 
saries obeyed the call, and separated themselves from their allies. The 
harangue of the youthful chieftain silenced all opposition. The above is but a 
faint outline of the arguments he made use of, for he spoke upwards of two 
hours; and Michel confessed himself unable to translate a great portion of 
his language, particularly when he soared into the wild flights of metaphor, so 
common among Indians. His delivery was generally bold, graceful and ener- 
getic. Our admiration at the time knew no bounds ; and the orators of Greece 
or Rome when compared with him, dwindled in our estimation into insignifi- 


"Through this chief's mediation, the various claimants were in a short time 
fully satisfied, without the flaming scalp of our Highland hero ; after which a 
circle was formed by our people and the Indians indiscrimately : the white and 
red chiefs occupied the center, and our return to friendship was ratified by each 
individual in rotation taking an amicable whiff from the peace-cementing calu- 

"The chieftain whose timely arrival had saved us from impending destruc- 
tion was called 'Morning Star.' His age did not exceed twenty-five years. His 
father had been a chief of great bravery and influence, and had been killed in 
battle by the Shoshones a few years before. He was succeeded by Morning 
Star, who, notwithstanding his youth, had performed prodigies of valor. Nine- 
teen scalps decorated the neck of his war horse, the owners of which had been 
all killed in battle by himself to appease the spirit of his deceased father. He 
wished to increase the number of his victims to twenty; but the terror inspired 
by his name, joined to the superiority which his tribe derived by the use of fire- 
arms, prevented him from making up the desired complement by banishing the 
enemy from the banks of the Columbia. 

"His handsome features, eagle glance, noble bearing, and majestic person, 
stamped him one of nature's own aristocracy ; while his bravery in the field, 
joined to his wisdom in their councils, commanded alike the involuntarj- homage 
of the young, and the respect of the old. 

"We gave the man who had been wounded in the shoulder a chief's coat ; 
and to the relations of the men who were killed we gave two coats, two blan- 
kets, two fathoms of cloth, two spears, forty bullets and powder, with a quan- 
tity of trinkets, and two small kettles for their widows. We also distributed 
nearly half a bale of tobacco among all present, and our youthful deliverer was 
presented by Mr. Keith with a handsome fowling piece, and some other valuable 

"Four men were then ordered to each canoe, and they proceeded on with 
the poles; while the remainder, with the passengers, followed by land. We 
were mixed pell-mell with the natives for several miles ; the ground was covered 
with large stones, small willows, and prickly-pears; and had they been inclined 
to break the solemn compact into which they had entered, they could have 
destroyed us with the utmost facility. 


"At dusk we bade farewell to the friendly chieftain and his companions, 
and crossed to the south side, where we encamped, a few miles above Lewis 
River, and spent the night in tranquillity. 

"It may be imagined by some that the part we acted in the foregoing 
transaction betrayed too great an anxiety for self-preservation ; but when it is 
recollected that we were several hundred miles from any assistance, with a deep 
and rapid river to ascend by the tedious and laborious process of poling, and 
that the desultory Cossack mode of fighting in use among the Indians, par- 
ticularly the horsemen, would have cut us ofif piecemeal ere we had advanced 
three days, it will be seen that, under the circumstances, we could not have 
acted otherwise." 

And now we must turn to another phase of Indian life and character which 
is most worthy of record, and one in which more than anywhere else they show 
some of those "touches of nature which make the whole world kin." This is 
that phase exhibited in myths and superstitions. Here we shall find, as almost 
nowhere else, that Indians are, after all, very much like other people. In this 
portion of this chapter the author is incorporating portions of articles written 
by himself for the "American Antiquarian." 


Like all primitive men, the Oregon Indians have an extensive mythology. 
With childlike interest in the stars and moon and sun and fire and water and 
forests, as well as plants and animal life and their own natures, they have 
sought out and passed on a wealth of legend and fancy which in its best features 
is worthy of a place with the exquisite creations of Norse and Hellenic fancy, 
even with much of the crude and grotesque. Yet it is not easy to secure these 
legends just as the Indians tell them. In the first place few of the early ex- 
plorers knew how or cared to draw out the ideas of the first uncontaminated 
Indians. The early settlers generally had a stupid tolerance in dealing with 
Indians that made them withhold all expression of their own ideas. Later the 
missionaries generally inclined to give them the impression that their "heathen" 
legends and ideas were obstacles to their "salvation," and .should be extirpated 
from their minds. Still further the few that did really get upon a sympathetic 
footing with them and draw out some of their myths, were likely to get them in 
fragments and piece them out with Bible stories or other civilized conceptions, 
and thus the native stories have become adulterated. It is difficult to get the 
Indians to talk freely, even with those whom they like and trust. Educated 
Indians seem to be ashamed of their native lore, and will generally avoid talk- 
ing about it with whites at all, unless under exceptional conditions. Christian- 
ized Indians seem to consider the repetition of their old myths a relapse into 
heathenism, and hence will parry efforts to draw them out. In general, even 
when civilized, Indians are proud, reserved, suspicious, and on their guard. 
And with the primal Indians few can make much headway. The investigator 
must start in indirectly, not manifesting any eagerness, and simply suggest as if 
by accident some peculiar appearance or incident in sky or trees or water, and 
let the Indian move on in his own way to empty his own mind, never suspecting 


any effort by his listener to gather up and tell again his story. And even under 
the most favoring conditions, one may think he is getting along famously, when 
suddenly the Indian will pause, glance furtively at the listener, give a moody 
chuckle, relapse into stony and apathetic silence — that is the end of the tale. 

Our stories have been derived mainly from the reports of those who have 
lived much among the Indians, and who have been able to embrace the rare 
occasions when, without self-consciousness or even much thought of outsiders, 
the natives could speak out freely. There is usually no very close way of judg- 
ing of the accuracy of observation or correctness of report of these investiga- 
tors, except as their statements are corroborated by others. These stories 
sometimes conflict, different tribes having quite different versions of certain 
stories. Then again the Indians have a peculiar habit of "continued stories," 
by which at the teepee fire one will take up some well known tale and add to it 
and so make a new story of it, or at least a new conclusion. As with the min- 
strels and minnesingers of feudal Europe at the tournaments, the best fellow 
is the one who tells the most thrilling tale. 


One confusing condition that often springs up with Indian names and stor- 
ies is that some Indians use a word generically and others use the same word 
specifically. For instance, the native name for Mount Adams, commonly given 
as "Pahtou," and Mount Rainier or Tacoma, better spelled "Takhoma," as 
sounded by the Indians, really means any high mountain. A Wasco Indian once 
told the author that his tribe called Mount Hood, "Pahtou," meaning the big 
mountain, but that the Indians on the other side of the Columbia River applied 
the same name to Adams. A very intelligent Puyallup Indian says that the 
name of the "Great White Mountain" was "Takhoma," with accent and pro- 
longed sound on the second syllable, but that any snow peak was the same, w^ith 
the second syllable not so prolonged, according to height or distance of the peak. 
Mount St. Helens was also "Takhoma," but with the "ho" not so prolonged. 
But among -some other Indians we find Mount St. Helens known as "Lawaila- 
clough," and with some Mount Hood is known as "Yetsl." Still other names are 
"Loowit" for St. Helens and "Wiyeast" for Hood. Adams seems to be known 
to some as "Klickitat." "Koolshan" for Baker, meaning the "Great White 
Watcher," is one of the most attractive of Indian names and should be pre- 
served. There is "Shuksan" or "The place of the Storm Wind," the only one 
of the Northwestern peaks which has preserved its Indian name. In reference 
to "Takhoma," a Puyallup woman told the writer that among her people the 
name meant the "Breast that Feeds," or "the Breast of the Milk White Waters," 
referring to the glaciers or the white streams that issue from them. On the 
other hand, Winthrop in "Canoe and Saddle," states that the Indians applied 
the name "Takhoma" to any high snow peak. Mr. Edwin Eells of Tacoma has 
written that he derived from Rev. Father Hylebos of the same city the state- 
ment that the name "Takhoma" was compounded of "Tah" and "Koma," and 
that among certain Indians the word "Koma" meant and snow peak, while 
"Tah" is a superlative. Hence, "Tahkoma" means simply "the great peak." 


We find something of the same inconsistencies in regard to the Indian 
names of rivers. Our maps abound with supposed Indian names of rivers and 
yet an educated Nez Perce Indian named Luke, living at Kamiah, Idaho, told 
the author that the Indians, at least of that region, had no names of rivers, but 
only of localities. He said that "Kooskooskie," which Lewis and Clark under- 
stood to be the name of what we now call the Clearwater, was in reality a repe- 
tition of "Koos," their word for water, and they meant merely to say that it waa 
a strong water. On the other hand we find many students of Indian languages 
who have understood that there were names for the large rivers, even for the 
Columbia. In the beautiful little book by B. H. Barrows, published and distrib- 
uted by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, we find the name "Shocatilicum," 
or "Friendly Water," given as the Chinook name for the Columbia. It is inter- 
esting to notice that this same word for "friendly water" appears in Vol. II, 
of the Lewis and Clark Journal, but with different spelling, in one place being 
"Shocatilcum," and in another place "Chockalilum." Rev. Father Blanchet is 
authority for the statement in "Historical Magazine," 11, 335, that the Chinook 
Indians used the name "Yakaitl Wimakl" for the Lower Columbia. A Yakima 
Indian called William Charley gives "Chewanna" as still another Indian name 
for the Columbia. 

To Yakima readers the native local names have a special interest. Most 
prominent of all is Yakima. As in many other cases this sonorous word is 
variously defined. It is said by some to mean "Great succotash garden," by 
others to mean "robbers," though that last meaning is by still others applied to 
Klickitat. Chief Stwires tells us that no one of the words Yakima, Klickitat, 
and Kittitas has any special meaning, but simply are names of the tribes. Frank 
Olney, of Toppenish, says that Yakima (which he gives as Yakeema) is a 
Spokane word, comparatively recent and that Tapteal or Tapteet is the real 
native name. The entire word from the Spokanes is Neeneeyakeema, and its 
meaning is in substance, "we meet and part," or "neutrality." The phrase came 
into existence as a result of a meeting between Spokanes and Yakimas at L^nion 
Gap. The Indians were using the phrase when the whites came and the latter 
finding it inconveniently long abbreviated it. Klickitat is defined by some as 
meaning "a cove of salmon," others say "runners," others say that it is an imi- 
tation of a horse galloping, while still others have it meaning "robbers." Tc 
quote Frank Olney again, the word is a Cascade word, more nearly sounded as 
Tsuckitat. Kittitas is said by Mr. Olney to signify a "bench of land," but its- 
true sound is Klikitass, with a guttural difficult for white lips. The Klick 
means ground and tass is simply euphonic. In the "History of Central Wash- 
ington," page 323, Charles Splawn is quoted as saying that Kittitas comes from 
Kittit, "white chalk," and "tash," place of existence. He says that there is at 
the Manastash ford below Ellensburg a deposit of white chalk where the 
Indians painted themselves. 

We derive from Frank Olney and from his brother William, who lives near 
White Swan, meanings of several additional names. Simcoe, better sounded as 
"Tsimquee," signifies "Alountain of the pass," from "tsim," stationary, and 
quee, hollow. Toppenish means a road or a stream coming down from the 


mountain. The high-sounding word Pahotecute (which Yakima people ought 
to preserve instead of Union Gap) signifies "putting two heads together," as 
the two mountains meeting and forming the Gap. Good authorities tell us that 
Pahquytikoot would be more correct. Naches, which is better spelled, Mr. 
Olney says, Nachtchis, equals "one water." Cowiche, more nearly expressed 
by Tquizmtass (beyond a white man's mouth) means a "foot-log crossing." 
Wenas is the equivalent of a "coming in" or tributary, or, some say, a place 
for traveling. Mr. David Longmire tells the writer that the Indians say that 
Selah means "a still place." This might refer to the beautiful strip of placid 
water just below Selah Gap. It seems to be a mooted question as to the origin 
of the word Naches. Some old timers believe that the word comes from the city 
on the Mississippi, and some have believed that this indicates that there was a 
movement to and fro across the continent by Indians prior to white discovery. 
It is, in fact, well known from Le Page's "Histoire de Louisiane" that a Yazoo 
Indian, Montcachabe or Moncacht Ape, crossed the continent early in the 
Eighteenth Century, making a three-year journey from tribe to tribe, reaching 
the Pacific Ocean. The fine story of the journeys of this Yazoo Columbus is 
found in all the standard histories. It would be indeed an interesting fact, if it 
could be substantiated, that the life-giving stream from which Yakima draws 
so much of its water supply derived its name through some Indian adventurer 
from the Mississippi, "Father of Waters." But in view of the foregoing state- 
ments of Mr. Olney it seems to the author certain that the word came from the 
native local tongue, and has been twisted into a resemblance to that of the 
Mississippi town. 

There has been much discussion as to the origin of the names of the two 
fine young cities on the Columbia, Kennewick and Pasco. Kennewick has been 
said to be of Indian origin, meaning, some say, a "winter paradise." In a valu- 
able paper by Mrs. W. T. Mann, of which a part appears in this volume, the 
reader will find the statement that the name was first used by Mr. Houser, an 
engineer, in 1883, and that it meant a "grassy place." But in the fine contribu- 
tion to our chapter of Reminiscences by Mrs. Daisy Beach Emigh, the name is 
said to have been intended to be CKenoweth, from an early fur-trader, but the 
Indians could not get the proper sound, and "Kennewick" resulted. Rather 
curiously there is a "Konnewock" just below L'nion Gap. We will all agree 
that it is a "pretty word," whatever the origin. Frank Olney says that a word 
very similar in sound was used by the lower Yakima Indians to apply to "dried 
acorns." When they would make summer hunting trips up the river to the 
mountains they were fond of getting acorns from the belt of oaks that run 
through Simcoe and Tampico, and would take them home dried for winter use. 
Pasco has had many supposed origins. It has been stated that the first 
N. P. R. R. engineers gave the name from a town in South America meaning 
sandy. Some assert that the name of Senator Pascoe of Florida was the true 
source. There is a creek in the Satus region known as Pasco or Pisco. There 
is the name Paska or Pashki, or Paskau ; used by the Indians to apply to the 
Mill Creek flats just above Walla Walla city, signifying "Sunflower." Frank 


Olney says that the Yakima Indians have the word "Pashaka," meaning "dry 


We have many supposed Indian names for God, as "Nekahni," or 
"SahaUe," but Miss Kate McBeth, long a missionary among the Nez Perces, 
records in her book about them that those Indians had no native name for the 
deity. Indian myths often deal with the chief God as "Nekahni," "Sahalie," 
"Dokidatl," "Snoqualm," or "Skomalt," while others have to do with the lesser 
grade of the supernatural beings, as the Coyote god, variously named "Talla- 
pus," "Speelyi," or "Sinchaleep." Others may treat of "Skallalatoots" (Fair- 
ies), "Toomuck" (Devils), or the various forms of "Tomanowas" (magic). A 
large number of these myths describe the supposed origin of strange features 
of the natural world, rocks, lakes, whirlpools, winds and waterfalls. Some de- 
scribe the "animal people," "Watetash," as the Klickitats call them. Some of 
the best are fire-myths. These myths seem to have been common among all 
Indians of the Columbia Valley. 

Among the native myths of the Yakimas and their neighbors we find two 
stories of a very different nature which we derive from a thorough investi- 
gator. Dr. G. B. Kuykendall, of Pomeroy, Washington, for several years physi- 
cian at Fort Simcoe. This is one : There is a legend among the Yakima Indians 
which seems to have the same root in human nature as the beautiful Greek myth 
of Orpheus and Eurjdice, showing the instinctive desire of people on earth 
to bring back the spirits of the dead and the impossibility of doing so. This 
myth sets forth how Speelyi and Whyama the eagle became at one time so 
grieved at the loss of their loved ones that they determined to go to the land of 
the spirits and bring them back. The two adventurers journeyed for a long 
distance over an unbroken plain, and came at last to a great lake, on the farther 
side of which they saw many houses. They called long and vainly for some 
one to come with a boat and ferry them over. But there was no sign of life 
and at last Whyama said that there could be no one there. Speelyi insisted, 
however, that the people were simply sleeping the sleep of the day and would 
come forth at night. Accordingly, when the sun went down and darkness began 
to come on, Speelyi started to sing. In a few minutes they saw four spirit 
men come to the bank, enter a boat and cross the lake to meet them. It seemed 
not necessary for them to row the boat, for apparently it skimmed over the 
water of its own accord. The spirit men having landed took Whyama and 
Speelyi with them in the boat and began their return to the island of the dead. 
The island seemed to be a very sacred place. There was a house of mats upon 
the shore, where music and dancing were in progress. Speelyi and Whyama 
begged leave to enter, and feeling hungry, they asked for food. The spirit land 
was so much less gross than the earth that they were satisfied by what was 
dipped with a feather out of a bottle. The spirit people now came to meet them 
dressed in most beautiful costumes, and so filled with joy that Whyama felt a 
great desire to share their happiness. By the time of the morning light, how- 
ever, the festivities ceased and all the spirit people became wrapped in slumber 
for the day. Speelyi, observing that the moon was hung up inside the great 


banquet hall and seemed to be essential to the ongoings of the evening, sta- 
tioned himself in such a place that he could seize it during the next night's- 
meeting. As soon as night came on the spirits gathered again for the music 
and dance. While festivities were in progress as usual, Speelyi suddenly sw^al- 
lowed the moon, leaving the entire place in darkness. Then he and Whyama 
brought in a box, which they had previously provided, and Whyama, flying 
swiftly about the room, caught a number of the spirits and enclosed them in the 
box. Then the two proceeded to start for the earth, Speelyi carrying the box 
upon his back. 

As the two adventurers went upon their journey toward the earth with 
the precious box, the spirits, which at first were entirely imponderable, begaa 
to be transformed into men and to have weight. Soon they began to cry out 
on account of their crowded and uncomfortable position. Then they became 
so heavy that Speeyli could no longer carry them. In spite of the remonstrance 
of Whyama, he opened the box. They were astonished and overwhelmed with, 
grief to see the partially transformed spirits flit away like autumn leaves and 
disappear in the direction from which they had come. Whyama thought that 
perhaps even as the buds grew in the spring, so the dead would come back with. 
the blooming of the next flowers. But Speelyi deemed it best after this that the 
dead should remain in the land of the dead. Had it not been for this, as the 
Indians think, the dead would indeed return every spring with the opening of 
the leaves. 

The Ivlickitat Indians, living along The Dalles of the Columbia have an- 
other legend of the land of spirits. There was a young chief and a girl who- 
were devoted to each other and seemed to be the happiest people in the tribe,, 
but suddenly he sickened and died. The girl mourned for him almost to the 
point of death, and he, having reached the land of spirits, could find no happi- 
ness there on account of thinking of her. 

And so it came to pass that a vision began to appear to the girl by night,, 
telling her that she must herself go into the land of the spirits in order to con- 
sole her lover. Now there is near that place one of the most weird and 
funereal of all the various "memaloose" islands, or death islands, of the Colum- 
bia. The writer himself has been upon this island and its spectral volcanic deso- 
lation makes it a fitting location for ghostly tales. It lies just below the Grand! 
Dalles or "great chute," and even yet has many skeletons upon it. In accord- 
ance with the direction of the vision, the girl's father made ready a canoe, placed 
her in it, and rowed out into the great river by night to the memaloose island. 
As the father and his child rowed across the dark and forbidding waters, they 
began to hear the sound of singing and dancing and great joy. Upon the 
shore of the island they were met by four spirit people, who took the girl but 
bade the father return, as it was not for him to see into the spirit country. Ac- 
cordingly the girl was conducted to the great dance house of the spirits, and 
there she met her lover, far stronger and more beautiful than when upon earth. 
That night they spent in unspeakable bliss, but when the light began to break in- 
the east and the song of the robins began to be heard from the willows of the 
shore, the singers and dancers began to fall asleep. 

The girl, too, had gone to sleep, but not soundly like the spirits. Whert 


the sun had reached the meridian, she woke, and now, to her horror, she saw 
that instead of being in the midst of beautiful spirits, she was surrounded by 
hideous skeletons and loathsome, decaying bodies. Around her waist were the 
bony arms and skeleton fingers of her lover, and his grinning teeth and gaping 
eye-sockets seemed to be turned in mockery upon her. Screaming with horor 
she leaped up and ran to the edge of the island, where, after hunting a long 
time, she found a boat, in which she crossed to the Indian village. Having pre- 
sented herself to her astonished parents, they became fearful that some great 
calamity would visit the tribe on account of her return, and accordingly her 
father took her the next night back to the memaloose island as before. There 
she met again the happy spirits of the blessed and there again her lover and she 
spent another night in ecstatic bliss. 

In the course of time a child was born to the girl, beautiful beyond descrip- 
tion, being half spirit and half human. The spirit bridegroom, being anxious 
that his mother should see the child, sent a spirit messenger to the village, de- 
siring his mother to come by night to the memaloose island to visit them. She 
was told, however, that she must not look at the child until ten days had passed. 
But after the old woman had reached the island her desire to see the beautiful 
child was so intense that she took advantage of a moment's inattention on the 
part of the guard, and, lifting the cloth from the baby board, she stole a look 
at the sleeping infant. And then, dreadful to relate, the baby died in conse- 
quence of this premature human look. Grieved and displeased by this foolish 
act, the spirit people decreed that the dead should never again return nor hold 
any communication with the living. 

As showing still another phase of Indian imagination, the stories of the 
"Tomanowas Bridge" of the Cascades may well find a place here. 

This myth not only treats of fire, but it also endeavors to account for the 
peculiar formation of the river and for the great snow peaks in the near 
vicinity. This myth has various forms, and in order that it may be the better 
understood, we shall say a word with respect to the peculiar physical features 
in that part of the Columbia. This mighty river, after having traversed over a 
thousand miles from its source, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains of Canada, 
has cleft the Cascade Range asunder with a canyon three thousand feet in depth. 
While generally swift, that portion of the river between The Dalles and the 
Cascades, of about fifty miles, is very deep and sluggish. There are moreover 
sunken forests on both sides of the river, visible at low water, which seem plainly 
to indicate that at that point the river was dammed up by some great rock slide 
or volcanic convulsion. Some of the Indians affirm that their grandfathers 
have told them that there was a time when the river at that point passed under 
an immense natural bridge and that there were no obstructions to the passage 
of boats under the bridge. At the present time there is a cascade of thirty feet 
at that point. This is now overcome by government locks. Among other 
evidences of some such actual occurrence as the Indians relate is the fact that 
the banks of the river at that point are gradually sliding into the river. The 
prodigious volume of the Columbia, which here rises fifty to seventy-five feet dur- 
ing the summer flood, and which, as shown by government engineers, carries 
nearly as much water as the Mississippi at New Orleans, is here continually eating 


into the banks. The railroad has shd several inches a year at this point toward 
the river and requires frequent readjustment. It is obvious at a slight inspec- 
tion that this weird and sublime point in the course of this majestic river has 
been the scene of terrific volcanic and probably seismic action. One Indian 
legend, probably the best known of all their stories, is to the effect that the 
downfall of the great bridge and consequent damming of the river was due 
to a great battle between Mount Hood and Mount Adams, in which Mount 
Hood hurled a great rock at his antagonist, but falling short of the mark, the 
rock demolished the bridge instead. This event has been made use of by 
Frederick Balch in his beautiful story, "The Bridge of the Gods," the finest 
5tory yet produced in Oregon. 

But the finer, though less known legend, which unites both the physical con- 
formation of the Cascades and the three great snow mountains of Hood, Adams, 
and St. Helens, with the origin of fire, is to this eifect. This story was secured 
by Mr. Fred Saylor of Portland. 

According to the Klickitats, there was once a father and two sons who 
came from the East down the Columbia to the vicinity of where Dalles City 
is now located, and there the two sons quarreled as to who should possess the 
land. The father, to settle the dispute, shot two arrows, one to the north and 
one to the west. He told one son to find the arrow to the north and 
the other the one at the west, and there to settle and bring up their families. 
The first son, going northward, over what was then a beautiful plain, became 
the progenitor of the Klickitat tribe, while the other son was the founder of the 
great Multnomah nation of the Willamette Valley. To separate the two tribes 
more efifectively Sahale reared the chain of the Cascades, though without any 
great peaks, and for a long time all things went in harmony. But, for conven- 
ience sake, Sahale had created the great Tomanowas Bridge, under which the 
waters of the Columbia flowed, and on this bridge he had stationed a witch 
woman called Loowit. who was to take charge of the fire. This was the only 
fire in the world. As time passed on Loowit observed the deplorable condition 
of the Indians, and besought Sahale that she might bestow the fire on them. 
Sahale, having been greatly pleased by the faithfulness and benevolence of 
Loowit, finally granted her request. The lot of the Indians was wonderfully 
improved by the acquisition of fire. They now began to make better lodges 
and clothes, and had a variety of food and implements, and, in short, were marvel- 
ously benefited by the bounteous gift. 

But Sahale, in order to show his appreciation of the care with which Loowit 
had guarded the sacred fire, now determined to offer her any gift she might 
desire as a reward. Accordingly, in response to his offer, Loowit asked that she 
be transformed into a young and beautiful girl. This was accordingly effected 
and now, as might have been expected, all the Indian chiefs fell deeply in love 
with the beautiful guardian of the Tomanowas Bridge. Loowit paid little heed 
to any of them, until finally there came two magnificent chiefs, one from the 
north called Klickitat, and one from the south called Wiyeast. Loowit was 
uncertain which of these two she most desired, and as a result a bitter strife 
arose between the two, and this waxed hotter and hotter, until finally, with 
their respective warriors, they entered upon a desperate war. The land was 


ravaged, all the beautiful things which they had made were marred, and misery 
and wretchedness ensued. Sahale repented that he had allowed Loowit to bestow 
fire upon the Indians, and determined to undo all his work in so far as he could. 
Accordingly, he broke down the Tomanowas Bridge, which dammed up the 
river with an impassable reef and put to death Loowit, Klickitat and Wiyeast. 
But, he said, inasmuch as they had been so grand and beautiful in life, he would 
give them a fitting commemoration after death. Therefore, he reared over them 
as monuments the great snow peaks ; over Loowit what we now call Mount St. 
Helens, over Wiyeast the modern Mount Hood, and above Klickitat the stupen- 
dous dome of what we now call Mount Adams. 


And now it is a matter of much interest to learn something of the chief 
original sources and the most reliable investigation of these myths. This survey 
is necessarily incomplete. The endeavor is to name the students and writers of 
myths as far as possible. This search goes beyond the Yakima and covers Old 

First in the natural order of the investigators and records of Indian myths 
come the early explorers and writers of Old Oregon. Most of these give us 
little on the special subject of myths, though they give much on the habits, 
customs, occupations, and implements of the natives. The earliest explorer 
in Oregon, so far as known to the author, to give any native legend, is Gabriel 
Franchere, who came to Astoria with the Astor Fur Company, in 1811. In his 
narrative, upon which Irving's "Astoria" is largely based, we find a fine story of 
the creation of men by Etalapass, and their subsequent improvement by Ecan- 
num. Franchere says that this legend was related to him by Ellewa, one of the 
sons of Concomly, the one-eyed Chinook chief, who figures conspicuously in 
Franchere's narrative. Of valuable books of the same period of Franchere, 
are Ross Cox's "Adventures on the Columbia River," and Alexander Ross' 
"Adventures on the Columbia River" and "The Fur Traders of the Far 
West," all of which contain valuable references to the customs and supersti- 
tious ideas of the natives, though not much in the way of myths. Ross gives 
an interesting myth of the Oakinackens (Okanogans as we now say) about the 
origin of the Indians or Skyloo on the white man's island, Samahtamawhoolah. 
The Indians were then very white and ruled by a female spirit, or Great Mother, 
named Skomalt, but their island got loose and drifted on the ocean for many 
suns, and as a result they became darkened to their present hue. Ross gives 
also an account of the belief of the Oakinackens in a good spirit, one of whose 
names is Skyappa, and a bad spirit, one of whose names was Oiacha. The 
chief deity of those Indians seems to have been the great mother of life, Skomalt, 
whose name also has the addition of "Squisses." Ross says that those Indians 
change their names constantly, and doubtless their deities did the same. 

Captain Charles Wilkes, the American explorer of the early forties, gives 
a very interesting account of a Palouse myth of a beaver which was cut up 
to make the tribes. This is evidently another version of the Klickitat story of 
the great beaver, Wishpoosh, of Lake Cle Elum. One of the most important 


of the early histories of Oregon is Dunn's, the materials for which were gath- 
ered in the decade of the forties. With other valuable matter it contains ac- 
counts of the religious conceptions of the Indians, and here we find the legend 
of the Thunder Bird of the Tinneh, a northern tribe. In this same general 
period, though a little later, we find the most brilliant of all writers dealing 
with early Oregon; that is, the gifted scholar, poet, and soldier, Theodore 
Winthrop. His book, "Canoe and Saddle," has no rival for literary excellence 
and graphic power among all the books which have dealt with the Northwest. 
The book was first published in 1862, and republished fifty years later in 
beautiful form by John H. Williams, of Tacoma. "Canoe and Saddle" com- 
memorates a journey from Puget Sound across the mountains and through the 
Yakima and Klickitat countries in 1853. It contains several fine Indian stories, 
notably that of the Miser of Mount Tacoma, and that of the Devil of The 
Dalles. Winthrop does not state from whom directly he secured the second 
of these myths, but no doubt from the Indians themselves, though the peculiar 
rich imagination and picturesque language of Winthrop are in evidence through- 
out the narration. The tale of the IMiser of Mount Tacoma is attributed by 
Winthrop to Hamitchou, an Indian of the Squallygamish tribe. 

At about the same time as Winthrop, occurred the visit and investigations 
of James G. Swan, whose book, "The Northwest Coast," was published in 1857. 
In this is found the creation myth of the Ogress of Saddle Mountain, relating 
the issuing forth of Indians from eggs cast down the mountain side by the 
Ogress. Many years ago Rev. Myron Eells told the writer a variation of that 
story, which has appeared in sundry forms and publications, being the story of 
Toulux, the South Wind, Quootshoi the Witch, and Skamson the Thunder Bird. 
In addition to the legend of the Thunder Bird, Swan gives many items of 
peculiar interest. Among these we find his idea that certain customs of the 
Indians ally them with the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. His final impression seems 
to be, however, that they are autocthonous in America. He refers to the observa- 
tion of General George Gibbs of the similarity of Klickitat myths to those in 
Longfellow's Hiawatha. He also refers to the beeswax ship of the Nehalem. 
In connection with the thought of Indian resemblance to the Ten Lost Tribes, 
it is worth noticing that this has come from various directions. Miss Kate 
AIcBeth has expressed the same in connection with the Nez Perces. It was 
also a favorite idea with B. B. Bishop, one of the earliest builders of steamboats 
on the Columbia, who lived many years at Pendleton, Oregon. He told the 
writer that the Indians at the Cascades had a spring festival with the first run 
of salmon. They would boil the first large salmon caught, and' have a ceremony 
in which the whole tribe would pass in procession around the fish, each taking 
a bit. They exercised the utmost care to leave the skeleton intact, so that in 
the end it had been picked clean but with not a bone broken. Mr. Bishop thought 
that this was a survival of the Jewish idea of the Paschal Lamb. 

Among the great collectors of all kinds of historical data in what might 
be called the middle period of Northeast history and not exactly belonging to 
any one of the specific groups, is H. H. Bancroft, already referred to in the 
first part of this chapter. In his "Native Races," are found many myths, with 
reference given, but these mainly deal with Mexican, Central American, and 


Califomian Indians. He refers to Holmburg's ethnological studies in German 
as containing valuable matter in regard to our Northwestern Indians. Harmon's 
Journal, with its reference to the Tacullies of British Columbia and their legend 
of the Musk Rat, is also named. In the same connection we find reference to 
Yehl the Raven, an especial favorite of the Indians of British Columbia and the 
upper part of Puget Sound. 

From what may be termed the first group of narrators of native tribes, 
we may turn to those that may be called the scientific ethnologists. We are 
indebted to Dr. Franz Boas, himself the foremost of the group, for the list of 
these professional students of the subject. These men took up the matter in a 
more scientific and methodical way than the travelers and pioneers and have 
presented the results of their work in form that appeals to the scholar, the work 
of trained investigators, seeking the facts and giving them as exactly as possible, 
not affected by the distortions and exaggerations common to unscientific ob- 
servers. They were all connected with the Smithsonian Institution, and their 
work was mainly under the Government. 

The Bibliography as given by Dr. Boas is as follows: 

Edward Sapir, Wishram Txts (publications of the American Ethnological 

Society, Vol. II). 
Leo J. Frachtenberg, Coos Texts (Columbia University contributions to 

Anthropology, Vol. I.) 
Leo J. Frachtenberg, Lower Umpqua Texts (ibid. Vol. IV). 
James Teit, Traditions of the Thompson Indians (Memoirs of the American 
Folk Lore Society, Vol. VI). (This is not Washington, but practically 
identical with material from the interior of Washington.) 
James Teit, Mythology of the Thompson Indians (Jesup North Pacific Ex- 
pedition Publications, Vol. VIII). 
James Teit, the Shushwap (ibid. Vol. II). 

Franz Boas, Indianische Sagen von der Nord Pacifischen Kuste Amerikas. 
Franz Boas, Mythology of the Indians of Washington and Oregon. 

(Globus, Vol. LXIII, pp. 154-157, 172-175, 190-19.^.) 
H. J. Spinden, Myths of the Nez Perce (Journal of American Folk Lore, 

Vol. XXI). 
Louisa McDermott, Myths of the Flathead Indians (ibid. Vol. XIV.) 
Franz Boas, Sagen der Kootenay (Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnol- 
ogy, etc., Vol. XXIII, pp. 161-172). 
Livingston Farrand, Traditions of the Quinault Indians (Publications of 
the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Vol. II). 
^ Franz Boas, Chinook Texts (Bureau of Ethnology, Government Printing 
Office, 1894). 
Franz Boas, Cathlamet Texts (ibid.). 
James Teit, Traditions of the Lilloost Indians (Journal of American Folk 

Lore, Vol. XXV). 
Jeremiah Curtin, Myths of the Modocs (Little, Brown & Co.). 
To these may be added, as of special value, the studies of Prof. Albert S. 
Gatchett among the Modocs, found under the title, "Oregonian Folk Lore," in 
the Journal of American Folk Lore, Vol. IV, 1891, Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 


The other vohimes of the Journal of American Folk Lore from 1888 to 1913 
contain valuable matter. In Professor Gatchett's book are found some of the 
finest fire myths and fish myths of the Northwest. 

Doctor Boas found a treasury of information in an old Indian named Charlie 
Cultee at Bay Center in Willapa Harbor, Washington, and from that source 
derived the material for the most scientific and uncolored study of Indian lore 
yet given to the public. Some of this appears in the Chinook Texts of Doctor 
Boas. In this is the storj', by Charlie Cultee, of the wreck on Clatsop beach. 
This is found also in H. S. Lyman's History of Oregon. 

Following the groups of the explorers and the professional ethnologists may 
come the larger body of miscellaneous collectors and writers, who, through local 
papers and magazines and published books, as well as personal narration, have 
rescued many quaint and curious gems of Indian mythology from oblivion and 
through various channels have imparted them to the slowly accumulating stock. 

Those no longer living may properly appear first. Of comparatively recent 
students no longer living, Silas Smith of Astoria was one of the best. His father 
was Solomon Smith of the Wyeth Expedition, while his mother was Celiast, 
daughter of the Clatsop Chief, Cobaiway. Through his Indian mother, Mr. 
Smith obtained interesting matter, much of which was preserved by H. S. Lyman 
in his history of Oregon, and in articles in the Oregonian, Historical Quarterly, 
and other publications. H. S. Lyman was also an original investigator, deriving 
his data mainly from Silas Smith and from a group of Indians who formerly 
lived at the mouth of the Nekanicum. These stories appear in his history of 
Oregon, and in a group contained in the "Tallapus Stories," published in the 
Oregonian. Another intelligent and patient investigator was Rev. Myron Eells, 
who lived for many years on Hood's Canal. Years ago the author heard from 
him legends of the Indians which he derived directly from the natives, such as the 
Thunder Bird, the Flood around Mount Tacoma (which he thought colored by 
the story of Noah in the Bible), and others. In the book by Mr. Eells entitled 
"Ten 'l^'ears' ^Missionary Work in Skokomish," he gives a valuable description 
of the "Tomanowas." In various numbers of the American Antiquarian, Mr. 
Eells has valuable articles as follows: "The Religion of the Twana Indians," 
July, 1879; "Dokidatl, or the God of the Puget Sound Indians," November, 
1884; "The Indians of Puget Sound," May, 1888, and March, 1890. 

Prominent among the scholars and lecturers of Oregon is the great name of 
Thomas Condon, for a long time in the State University, and the earliest student 
in a large way of the geology of the Northwest. He was interested in Indian 
myths as in almost everything that had to do with men and nature. The legend 
of the "Bridge of the Gods," already given in this chapter, particularly appealed 
to him. One of the notable students of both the geology and anthropology of 
the Northwest was George Gibbs, who came to Oregon as a Government geolo- 
gist in 1853. In his report on the Pacific Railroad in House of Representatives 
Documents of 1853-54, he gives the first published version, so far as we can dis- 
cover, of the "Bridge of the Gods." He tells the story thus : "The Indians tell a 
characteristic tale of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens to the effect that they 
were man and wife; that they finally quarreled and threw fire at one another, 
and that Mount St. Helens was victor; since when Mount Hood has been afraid. 


while St. Helens, having a stout heart, still burned. In some versions this story- 
is connected with the slide which formed the Cascades of the Columbia." Mr. 
Gibbs also gives some Yakima legends. 

One of the most distinguished of all the literary pioneers of Old Oregon was 
Samuel A. Clark. In his "Pioneer Days in. Oregon" are several interesting 
legends well told. In this we find the legend of the Nehalem, with Ona and 
Sandy and all their tribulations. We find here told also the story of the Bridge 
of the Gods, in which Hood and Adams are represented as the contending forces, 
having been originally the abutments of the Bridge of the Gods. But the most 
noted contribution of Mr. Clark to this legend was his poem called, "The Legend 
of the Mountains," referring to the fabled bridge, which appeared in Harper's 
Magazine of February, 1874. This represents Mount St. Helens as a goddess 
for whom Hood and Adams contended, hurling huge stones at each other and 
finally breaking down the bridge. The story of the bridge became the most noted 
of all native myths, being related to practically every traveler that made the 
steamboat trip down the Columbia. 

Let us now turn to those discoverers and writers of Indian myths who are 
still living. The majority of these are from the nature of the case adapters and 
transcribers, rather than original students, but some among them are entitled to 
the place of genuine investigators. Among these a foremost place must be ac- 
corded to Fred A. Savior of Portland. He was for several years editor of the 
"Oregon Native Son," and for it he wrote a number of stories which he derived 
directly from the Indians. A student of these stories from boyhood, he has ac- 
cumulated the largest collection of matter both published and unpublished of 
any one in the Northwest. This collection is preserved by him in fourteen large 
scrap books, and constitutes a treasury of valuable data which it is to be hoped 
mav soon appear in a published form for the delight and profit of many readers. 
Among the legends of which Mr. Savior is entitled to be regarded as the dis- 
coverer are these : "The Legend of Tahoma," "Why the Indian Fears Golden 
Hair," or "The Origin of Castle Rock" ; "Speelyi, or the Origin of Latourelle 
Falls and the Pillars of Hercules"; "Thorns on Rosebushes"; "The Noah of 
the Indians"; "The Legend of Snake River Valley"; "A Wappato Account of 
the Flood"; "The Last Signal Fire of the Multnomah"; "The Legend of the 
Willamette" ; "The Love of an Indian Maid" ; "Enumpthla" ; "Coyote's Tomb" ; 
"Multnomah." The last named has been presented by students on the campus 
of the State University and also at the Agricultural College of Oregon. 

Of investigators known to the author, none seems more worthy of extended 
and favorable mention than Dr. G. B. Kuykendall of Pomeroy, Washington. 
As already stated, he was for a number of years the physician for the Yakima 
Reservation at Fort Simcoe and has many friends throughout the Yakima coun- 
try. He began his work of collecting in 1875, deriving his knowledge directly 
from the Indians. His authorities were almost entirely old Indians, for from 
such only could he secure narrations of unadulterated character. His first pub- 
lished writings were in the "West Shore", of Portland, in 1887. His most mature 
contribution, which may indeed be considered the best yet given to the public, is 
found in Vol. II, of the "History of the Pacific Northwest," published by the 
North Pacific History Company, of Portland, in 1889. This is an admirable 


piece of work, and students of the subject will find here a treasure of native 
lore. The following is the list of stories given by Doctor Kuykendall in that 
work: "Wishpoosh, the Beaver God, and the Origin of the Tribes"; "Speelyi 
Fights Enumtla"; "Spellyi Outwits the Beaver Women"; "Rock Myths"; 
"Legend of the Tick" ; "Mountain Lake Myths" ; "The Origin of Fire" ; "Water 
Nymphs"; "Wawa, the Mosquito God"; "Origin of the Loon"; "Castiltah, the 
Crayfish" ; "Wakapoosh, the Rattle Snake" ; "The Tumwater Luminous Stone 
God" ; "The Wooden Firemen of the Cascades" ; "Contest Between the Chinooks 
and Cold Wind Brothers" ; "Speelyi's Ascent to Heaven" ; "Coyote and Eagle 
Attempt to Bring the Dead Back from Spirit Land"; "The Isle of the Dead". 

Another original investigator and author of a unique and picturesque book 
devoted exclusively to Indian myths, is W. W. Phillips of Seattle, well known by 
his non-de-plume of "El Comancho." The book by Mr. Phillips is "Totem 
Tales". Mr. Phillips says that he gathered the matter for "Totem Tales" from 
the Puget Sound Indians and from Haida Indians who had come south. This 
work was mainly done about twenty-five years ago. He verified such of his 
matter by comparing with Judge Swan, and by the stories acquired by Dr. Shaw, 
who was at one time Indian agent at Port Madison, and whose wife was one of 
the daughters of old Chief Sealth (Seattle). He derived matter for comparison 
also from Rev. Myron Eells. The chief Indian authority of Mr. Phillips was 
old Chisiahka (Indian John to the Whites), and it was a big tree on the shore of 
Lake Union that suggested the idea of the "Talking Pine" which the author 
wove so picturesquely into the narrative. Mr. Phillips has also published the 
"Chinook Book" ; the most extensive study of the "Jargon language" yet made. 
To the others he has added a most attractive book entitled "Indian Tales for 
Little Folks." 

Another present-day investigator, whose work is especially worthy of men- 
tion is Rev. J. Neilson Barry, an enthusiastic and intelligent student of every 
phase of the history of the Northwest, formerly of Baker, Oregon, now of 
Spokane. In Chapter III, of Volume I, of Gaston's "Centennial History of 
Oregon," Mr. Barry gives a valuable contribution to Indian legends. 

Yet another original student was Miss Kate McBeth, of Lapwai, Idaho, 
recently deceased ,who, with her sister, lived for years among the Nez Perces, 
performing a most beneficent missionary work for them. In her book, "The 
Nez Perces Since Lewis and Clark," may be found the Kamiah myth, and a few 
others derived directly from those Indians. Mention may well be made here also 
of a Nez Perce Indian named Luke, previously referred to, living at Kamiah, 
who has a very intelligent knowledge of all kinds of Indian matters. Miss 
McBeth says that the Nez Perces do not like to discuss generally their "heathen" 
stories and customs. In connection with the Nez Perces it may be stated that 
Yellov; Wolf of Nespilem is an authority on the myth of the Kamiah monster. 

Still another enthusiastic student of Indian legends is Lucullus V. 
McWhorter of Yakima, who is one of the advisory board for this history. He 
is an adopted member of the Yakima tribe, and has been of incalculable benefit 
to the Indians in instructing them as to their rights, in presenting their cause 
to the Government, and in making known their needs as well as some of their 
wrongs to the general public through voice and pen. As an educational factor 


for both races, he has made a specialty in recent years of organizing bands of 
tribesmen and taking them to historic pageants, celebrations and "Frontier 
Days." At the "Astoria Centennial" (Oregon), August and September, 1911, 
his Nez Perces and Yakimas took a prominent part in that wonderfully striking 
play, "The Bridge of the Gods," as dramatized from Balch by Mabel Ferris 
and there staged for the first time. A recent pamphlet by him on the treatment 
of the Yakimas in connection with their water rights is an "eye-opener," on some 
phases of Indian service and Indian problems. Mr. McWhorter has gathered 
a large amount of matter from the Indians, in which is material for three books : 
"Traditions of the Yakimas" ; "Camp Stories of the Yakimas," and "Nez Perce 
Warriors in the War of 1877". Among the proteges of Mr. McWhorter from 
whom he tells the author that much of interest could be derived, are Chief Yel- 
low Wolf of the Joseph band of Nez Perces, and Mrs. Crystal McLeod, known 
to her people as Humishuma, or Alorning Dove, an Okanogan woman of un- 
usual beauty and intelligence and well instructed in the English language. Her 
picture appears in this work from photographs taken by Mr. John Langdon of 
Walla Walla. She is herself an author and has ready for the press a book which 
promises to be one of rare value and interest. 

One of the most notable contributions to recent Northwest history is by 
another of the most prominent pioneers of Yakima, A. J. Splawn, recently de- 
ceased. His volume, "Kamiakin, the Last Hero of the Yakimas," has attracted 
the interest of all readers of history in this section. 

Any reference to any phase of Oregon would be incomplete without men- 
tion of John Minto, one of the most honored of pioneers, one of the noblest of 
men, and one of the best examples of those ambitious, industrious, and high 
minded State builders who gave the Northwest its loftiest ideals. Mr. Minto was 
a student of the Indians and discovered and gave to the world various Clatsop and 
Nehalem legends. Yet another investigator is Hon. E. L. Smith of Hood River, 
Oregon, well known as an official and legislator of both Oregon and Washington, 
and a man of such character that all who ever knew him have the highest honor 
for him in every relation of life. He has made a life-long study of the natives 
and has a great collection of myths both in mind and on paper. He is one of the 
most sympathetic, tolerant and appreciative of investigators, one whom the In- 
dians of the Mid-Columbia trust implicitly. He has written little for publication 
in comparison with what he knows, and it is to be hoped that his stores of ma- 
terial may yet be brought to the public. Worthy of mention as a general student 
of the geography and language of the Indians, is Mr. John Gill of Portland. 
While he has not made a specialty of myths, he has studied the habits and lan- 
guage with special attention, and his dictionary of the Chinook jargon is one of 
the most valuable collections of the kind. 

It is proper to mention here several who are well versed in native lore, yet 
who have not given their knowledge of legends or myths to the public in book 
or magazine form. The most conspicuous, indeed, of this group, is no longer 
living. This was Dr. William C. McKay, a grandson of the McKay of the Astor 
Fur Company, who lost his life on the Tonquin. The mother of Doctor McKay 
was a Chinook "princess." He was a man of great ability and acquired a fine 
education. He lived for years in Pendleton, Oregon, where he died some time 


ago. In the possession of his children and grandchildren there is undoubtedly- 
valuable material and if it could be reduced to written form it would furnish 
matter of great interest. Certain others of Indian blood may be properly added 
here who could give material for interesting narrations. Among these are Henry 
Sicade and William Wilton, living on the Puyallup Reservation near Tacoma; 
Samuel McCaw of Wapato and Charlie Pitt, of the Warm Springs Agency in 
Oregon. Frank Olney, of Toppenish, and William Olney, of White; Swan, sons 
of Nathan Olney and an Indian mother, are excellent authorities. 

Mr. Jay Lynch of Yakima, for many years agent at Fort Simcoe, is very- 
good authority on Indiana customs. He had one of the finest collections of Indian 
baskets and curios in the Yakima country, which was acquired by the Tififanys 
of New York. Mr. Cobum, of White Swan, for many years a trader on the 
Yakima Reservation, has what is probably the best collection of Indian curios in 
the Northwest, and he is perhaps more familiar with Indians and their history 
than any other white man in the Yakima country. 

This summary of Indian stories and their investigators is necessarily incom- 
plete. One of the hopes in including it in this work is that it may lead to added 
contributions. As we contemplate the beauty and grandeur of Old Oregon, which 
includes Washington and Idaho and a part of Montana, and the pathos, heroism 
and nobility of its history, and as we see the pitiful remnant of the Indians, we 
cannot fail to be touched with the quaint and pathetic and suggestive myths 
and legends that are passing with them into the twilight. In our proud days of 
possession and of progress we do well to pause and drop the tear of sympathy 
and place the chaplet of commemoration upon the resting place of the former 
lords of the land, and to recognize their contributions to the common stock of 
human thought. 

In concluding this chapter we insert a valuable article from the Washing- 
ton Magazine of June, 1906, by Harlan I. Smith, of the American Museum of 
Natural History of New York. 


By Harlan I. Smith, 
Of the American Museum of Natural History, New York 

Archaeological explorations were made by the writer in the Yakima Valley, 
Washington, for the American Museum of Natural History in the first part of 
the field season of 1903. These resulted in the discovery of a number of speci- 
mens and human skeletons, as well as the securing of several dozen photographs 
and a mass of field notes. Other data have been securred, both before the ex- 
pedition and since, from collections and museums. The following preliminary 
account is made up from these results, which may not be published in full for 
some time to come. 

Central Washington is arid. In most respects the climate resembles that of 
the southern interior of British Columbia to the north. The Summers are per- 
haps warmer and the Winters colder. There is less vegetation, and no trees 
are seen except in river bottoms or where irrigation has been successfully 


prosecuted. The prehistoric people had no great staples, and had to rely upon 
perhaps even a greater variety of natural products than did the people farther 

A glance at the linguistic map of Washington shows the great number of 
tribes inhabiting the general region. This suggests the possibility of the exist- 
ence of more than one culture area within the same territory, although, of 
course, we may find several tribes, especially if they be subjected to the same 
environment, all within one culture area. 

Definite age can not be assigned to the archaeological finds, since here, as 
to the north, the remains are found at no great depth or in soil the surface of 
which is frequently shifted. Some of the graves are known to be of modem 
Indians but many of them antedate the advent of the white race in this region, 
or at least contain no objects of European manufacture, such as glass beads or 
iron knives. On the other hand, there was found no positive evidence of the 
great antiquity of any of the skeletons, artifacts or structures found in the area. 

The implements used in securing food include many chipped projectile 
points of bright-colored agates, chalcedonies and similar stone. Several small 
quarries of this material, with adjacent workshops, were found. While the 
bulk of the stone used was quite different from the black basalt employed to 
the north, yet a few points chipped from that material were also found. Points 
rubbed out of stone or bone were rare. Digging stick handles were seen, but 
no sap scrapers were found. 

Some small heaps of fresh water clam shells were examined but these 
being only about five feet in diameter and as many inches in depth, are hardly 
to be compared to the immense shell heaps of the coast. Net sinkers were made 
by notching and also by grooving pebbles. Such sinkers were very rare to the 
north, and much more numerous here than on the coast, except near the mouth i 
of the Columbia River, where grooved sinkers, usually slightly different fromi 
these, are found. 

For preparing food, pestles were used. These differ from those found 
either to the north or on the coast, many of them being much longer. Some 
had tops in the form of animal heads. Fish knives made of slate were not 
found, and, it is believed, pottery was not made in the region. 

Sites of ancient semi-underground houses, like those found in the Thomp- 
son River region, were photographed. Here, however, stones were seen on top 
of the embankment. No saucer-shaped depressions were seen, but circles of 
stones were found, which similarly may mark lodge sites, since the moderni 
Indian has a lodge identical in shape with that found to the north, where saucer- 
shaped depressions occur. Pairs of arrow-shaft smoothers were seen. 

An idea of the ancient form of dress was obtained from a costumed human- 
figure carved in antlers, which was found in the grave of a little child. It had a 
feather head-dress like that of the present Indians of the region from here to 
as far east as the Dakotas. The hair was dressed and ornamented with detalium 
shells. The body is represented as painted, and with a fringed apron around the 
loins. The costume indicated is unlike that of the coast, but resembles those of- 
the plateaus to the south and the plains to the east. 


Besides a tubular form of pipe, one type consisting simply of a bowl was 
found. This is not seen among archaeological remains from other parts of the 
Northwest, although pipes used by the Thompson River Indians seem to re- 
semble it. The fact suggests that the culture of this region is somewhat more 
closely related to that farther east than are the cultures of the areas to the 
north and west. 

Art work was found here as in the other areas. The costumed human figure, 
made of antlers, engraved on one surface, is of good technique and artistic 
execution. The circle and dot design was common. Paintings made with red 
and white on basaltic cliffs, many of which represent human heads with head- 
dresses, and some the whole figure, were also seen. These were made up of 
lines, and were pictographic in character. Sometimes such pictures were made 
by pecking into the surface of the columns instead of by painting. A design 
similar to the part of these pictures interpreted as representing the headdress 
was also found pecked into the surface of a grooved net sinker. Some of the 
pestles had knobs in the form of animal heads, but in general the art of the 
region tended to line work of geometric and pictographic patterns. The general 
style of art shows little resemblance to that of the coast, but a strong relation- 
ship to that of the plains. 

There were three methods of disposing of the dead. In this arid region are 
stretches of country locally known as "scab-land," on which are occasionally 
groups of low dome-shaped knolls from about fifty to one hundred feet in diam- 
eter by three to six feet in height. These knolls consist of fine volcanic ash, and 
apparently have been left by the wind. This ashy material has been swept from 
the intervening surface, leaving the "scab-land" paved with fragments of basalt 
imbedded in a hard soil. The prehistoric Indians of this region have used many 
of these knolls, each as a site for a single grave. These graves, which are 
located in the tops of the knolls, are usually marked by large river pebbles, or 
in some cases by fragments of basalt that appear as a circular pavement pro- 
jecting slightly above the surface of the soil. In one only did we find a box or 
cyst. This box was formed of thin slabs of basaltic rock, some placed on edge, 
and two large flat slabs covering the cyst so formed. Above this, as was usually 
the case above the skeletons in this sort of grave, the space was filled with 
irregular rocks or pebbles. The skeletons were found flexed, on the side. In 
the graves artifacts, such as dentalium shells, were deposited at the time of 
burial. Simple graves in the level ground were not found. The rock slides, 
as in the region to the north, had frequently been used as burial places. In 
these skeletons were always in a flexed position. Objects were found to have 
been placed in some of these graves. Rings of stones were also seen, and on 
excavation within them cremated human remains were found, usually several 
in each circle. In such places dentalium shells, flat shell beads and shell orna- 
ments were usually seen. 

The prehistoric culture of the region was apparently similar to that of the 
present natives. 

Numerous evidences were found of the close communication of the people 
of this culture with tribes of the southern interior of British Columbia. The 
preponderance of chipped over ground points, digging stick handles, sites of 


semi-underground houses, pestles with tops in the form of animal heads, pairs 
of arrow shaft smoothers, as well as tubular pipes, an incised decoration con- 
sisting of a circle with a dot in it, and engraved dentalium shells, each of a 
particular kind, besides rock-slide-sepulchers, and the custom of burying arti- 
facts with the dead, were found to be common to both regions. Certain pestles 
and clubs made of stone differed from those found in British Columbia, while 
the chipped implements were made of a greater variety of stone, and more of 
beautifully colored material were found. Notched and grooved sinkers were 
much more common, and sap-scrapers were not found. 

Considerable material of the same art as that found in The Dalles region 
was seen. It is clear that the people living in the Yakima Valley had exten- 
sive communication, not only with the region northward as far as the Thomp- 
son Valley but also southward as far as The Dalles of the Columbia. In this 
connection it is interesting to note that the present Indians of the region travel 
even more extensively than would be necessary to distribute their artifacts this 

Much less evidence of contact between the prehistoric people of the coast 
and that of the Yakima Valley was discovered. Many of the pestles and clubs 
made of stone were different from those found on the coast, where, it will also 
be remembered, artifacts were not found with the dead. A pipe, however, and 
sea shells of several species, were seen. The pipe is clearly of the art of the 
Northwest coast. It was found far up the Toppenish River, one of the western 
tributaries of the Yakima. 

In general the culture of the prehistoric people resembled that of the pres- 
ent natives, and was affiliated with the cultures farther east, but differed from 
both the prehistoric and present culture of the coast to the west, and even of the 
southern interior of British Columbia to the north and The Dalles to the south. 

From the whole series of archreological explorations, in British Columbia 
and Washington, begun in 1897 for the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, and 
continued in 1903 for the American Museum of Natural History, we have 
learned that the material culture of the prehistoric people and the present natives 
was similar in each area examined ; that the culture of the coast is of one sort, 
that of the interior of southern British Columbia of another; from which that 
of central Washington differs somewhat; and that there are several small cul- 
ture areas lying adjacent to these. We find that each culture apparently de- 
veloped independently or at least more in accord with its own environment and 
local tradition rather than with any outside influence, but that at various times, 
especially in the past, each has been influenced by one or more of tf^e others. 

In general the culture of the North Pacific coast does not extend far in- 
land. Northward its limits are unknown, but southward it coalesces with that 
from the Columbia River in the region between Seattle and Shoalwater Bay. 
In the interior we have a plateau culture of which, likewise, that part to the 
north, differs somewhat from that to the south. 

Experience in this work emphasizes the advisability of conducting archae- 
ological investigations in cooperation with students of living tribes. A study of 
the modern Indians living in a country under investigaton usually throws light 
on archaeological finds made there, while an understanding of the antiquities of 


a region often helps in the study of the present natives. Besides, in this way 
the continuity of the historical problems is met by a continuity of method. 

In selecting successive fields of operation it seems best always to continue 
explorations in an area so far distant from one already examined that new con- 
ditions will be encountered. This will make it probable that new facts will be 
discovered ; possibly a new culture area. At the same time the new field of 
operations should be near enough that no culture may intervene. Thus the 
boundaries of culture areas may be determined and new areas discovered. This 
method of continuation from past fields of exploration allows any experience 
there gained to be of service in each new and adjacent field, while the discover- 
ies in each new region may always lead to a better understanding of the areas 
•explored and that perhaps in time for incorporation in the results to be pub- 

It remains to determine the northern, eastern and southern limits of the 
general plateau culture^ how far it may be subdivided into local culture areas, 
the interrelation of each of these, and of each to outside cultures. 

But few specimens have been found in the whole area extending from the 
■central Arctic region to the Columbia River, and from there southward along 
the coast to the Santa Barbara Islands, thence to the Pueblo region and east- 
ward as far as the mounds of the Mississippi Valley. Literature on the archae- 
ology of the area is scanty. That whole region, north to the Arctic, across all 
the plains towards the east, and the plateaus south throughout Nevada, remains 
to be explored. 







One of the grandest and most significant of all the dramas of human progress 
is the discovery of the Pacific Coast of North America, its subsequent acquisi- 
tion by the people of the United States, and its progressive evolution under that 
people to its present stage of world importance, with the vision of yet larger 
development in the unfoldings of the Twentieth Century. 

We shall better comprehend and estimate the acts and scenes of this great 
drama if we rapidly unroll before our minds the opening act, that of first dis- 

The earliest discoverers, beginning with Columbus, had become so accus- 
tomed to weighing all things in the scales of the Old World and especially of 
finding new routes to the supposed treasures of the Orient, India and Golconda, 
that they vailed their eyes for a time — a long time, it seems to us — and with 
seeming obstinacy, to the truth that they had made a far vaster discovery than 
that of a new route to the lethargic and somnolent lands of the most ancient 
world. Only gradually did it dawn upon the minds of these heroes of the sea, 
those new Jasons seeking for vaster and more precious fleeces, that they had 
steered their prows to a new continent, where development should within five 
centuries hold up to mankind the banners of new hopes, new aims, new 
achievements, by which there should no longer be an Orient, or an Occident, 
but a world, no longer petty dynastic struggles and the dictation of warring 
groups of pirate kings and robber barons, but the beginning of life for a united 
world and a national humanity. As the most significant feature between the 
close of the Fifteenth Century and the middle of the Twentieth, it may be seen 
by future historians that the discovery of a new continent of man's intellectual 
and moral life was the logical outcome of the discovery of the physical con- 
tinent of America by Columbus and his followers. 

Inasmuch as the new lands seemed to those first navigators of American 
waters obstacles in the way of fulfilling the supposedly vital establishment of a 
water route to India, the greatest aim of those navigators was to find open 
channels through what they persistently believed to be a fringe of islands 
screening the domains of the "Great Cham" or some other imagined potentate 
of "Ormus or of Ind." Out of that stage of discovery and geographical con- 
ception grew that myth of "the Straits of Anian," whose ghost still walked the 
waters of the Pacific until the voyages of the closing decade of the Eighteenth 


Century at last laid that persistent ghost to rest. Not till Roald Amundsen, 
the Scandinavian navigator of our own day, did any keel of human construction 
actually solve the problem of the "Northw^est passage." The myth of Anian came 
into existence only eight years after the landing of Columbus on San Salvador. 
For in 1500 Caspar Cortereal, a Portuguese in the service of Spain, entered a 
great inland water, presumably that later known as Hudson's Bay, and upon 
his return proclaimed that he had penetrated the screen of islands and had 
actually reached the Asiatic shores. 

THE "era of liars" 

More than a hundred years later, during the "era of liars," two veritable 
Munchausens, who rejoiced in the names of Maldonado and Bartolome de 
Fonte, told most seemingly veracious tales of their actually passing through 
inlets of the sea and thus completely solving the mystery of the Northwest 
Passage. Fonte asserted that he sailed in 1640 by way of the Californias up the 
Western Coast to latitude 53° and there found a great river which he called 
Rio de los Reyes. Up this river he made his way to a great lake of such beauty 
that he named it Lake Belle. On the south side of that lake, he asserted, was a 
large native city called Conasset. Pursuing his course eastward from that lake 
he reached still another to which he applied his own name. Still further this 
lake debouched into a strait to which, in honor of one of his captains, he gave 
the name of Ronquillo. From this strait the explorers made their way, accord- 
ing to their narrative, to the Atlantic or to an arm of that ocean. To add to 
the verisimilitude and we might add in the language of 1918, to the camouflage 
of it — Fonte still further relates that upon his entrance to the ocean he dis- 
covered a "Great ship, where there had never been one before, and upon board- 
ing it, found there only an old man and a youth who told him that they came 
from the town called Boston in New England. On the following day came the 
captain and the owner, the latter of whom was a 'fine gentleman and major- 
general of the largest colony in New England,' called Maltechusetts." Fonte 
had an exchange of courtesies with these New Englanders, after which he 
returned by the Rio de los Reyes to the Pacific. Meanwhile his lieutenant, 
Bernardo, had followed another river to a lake in latitude 61° which he called 
Valasco, and rom it he, with his party, went in canoes as far as latitude 78° 
where the land still trended north and ice rested upon it. 

The story of Maldonado was given with the same appearance of candor and 
accuracy as that of Fonte. Maldonado presented to the Council of the Indies 
in 1609, a narrative of a voyage which he claimed to have made in 1588 from 
Lisbon through the islands north of America to the Pacific. The voyage is all 
blocked out and described with much particularity. The navigator outlines a 
course lying mainly along the parallel of 60° North latitude, a total distance 
of 1,810 leagues, at the west end of which course he discovers a strait which 
he calls the strait of Anian. That strait, according to Maldonado, "appears, 
according to ancient tradition, to be that named by geographers, in their maps, 
the Strait of Anian ; and if so, it must be a strait having Anian on one side and 
America on the other." 


Having emerged from the strait they sailed down the coast of America 
to latitude 55°, but were at such a distance from the shore as to be unable to- 
mark any particular point. Yet they were sure that the land was inhabited 
by reason of the "smoke rising up in many places." Maldonado decided that 
the country must belong to Tartary or Cathaia, and "that at the distance of a 
few leagues from the coast must be the famed city of CamboUi, the metropolis- 
of Tartary." He declares that they knew the water to be the South Sea, where 
are situated Japan, China, the Mollucas, India, New Guinea, and the land dis- 
covered by Captain Quiras, with all the coast of New Spain and Peru. The 
strait of Anian was, according to the description, fifteen leagues in length, and 
could easily be passed with a tide lasting six hours; "for those tides are very 
rapid." The entrance on the north side, which this party claimed to have passed 
through, was less than half a quarter of a league in width and on each side 
were ridges of steep rock, that on the Asiatic side being so steep, even over- 
hanging, that nothing falling from the summit could reach the base. Maldonado- 
found the entrance so narrow that it could be easily defended by proper bas- 
tions. And that, it may be said in passing, was a great point with the Span- 
iards. For they determined by all means in their power to keep out other Euro- 
peans from the South Sea. Even as early as the time of Philip II about 1570,. 
it was proposed, according to Alcedo, to cut a canal through the Isthmus of 
Panama, but when the project was brought before the Council of the Indies, 
it was represented to the King that such an undertaking would be of great 
danger to the monarchy. The monarch therefore forbade any one, on pain of 
death, from ever even proposing such a project. But, of course, when the 
Dutch mariners, Lemaire and Van Shouten, in 1616, doubled Cape Horn and 
disclosed the vast expanses from the southern point of America into the Ant- 
arctic seas it became obvious that there was no use of fortifying either Panama 
or Strait of Anian. 

Maldonado further declares that while his squadron lay at anchor in the 
southern end of that strait from the beginning of April to the middle of June, 
a large vessel entered from the South Sea for the purpose of passing the strait. 
First putting his own forces in a position of defence he found that the new- 
comers were friendly and willing to trade. The greater part of their merchan- 
dise was discovered to consist of articles similar to those manufactured in 
China, such as brocades, silks, porcelains, feathers, precious stones, pearls and 
gold. Maldonado believed the crew of the new vessel to be Hanseatics. All' 
that we can say with certainty is that we have the narrative, but of whether to- 
give credence to all or to nothing, deponent sayeth not. 

By far the most interesting as well as inherently most probable of the 
romantic voyages of that period is that of Juan de Fuca. This voyage is sup- 
posed to have occurrred in 1592, just one hundred years after Columbus. The 
manner of its incorporation into the jetsam and flotsom of ocean literature was- 
in this wise. In the historical and geographical work by Samuel Purchas 
published in 1625 and entitled "The Pilgrims," a collection of ocean discoveries, 
is included a contribution headed "A Note Made by Michael Lock the Elder, 
touching the Strait of Sea, commonly called Fretum Anian, in the South Sea, 
through the Northwest Passage of Meta Incognita." In this Michael Lock 


^describes his meeting at Venice in 1596, an old man known as Juan de Fuca, but 
properly named Apostolos Valerianos, a Greek by nation and "an ancient pilot 
<of ships." This old man declared that he had been in the service of Spain forty 
years in the West Indies and that he was one of the victims of the capture in 
1587 of the galleon Santa Anna by the English Cavendish, losing sixty thousand 
ducats of his own goods. Subsequently, according to his story, he was sent to 
cexplore the western coast of America with instructions to discover and fortify 
the Strait of Anian, that the English might not pass through it into the South 

His first quest proving unsuccessful, he went again in 1792, in a small 
caravel. On that voyage he followed a course west and northwest along the 
.coast of Mexico and California to latitude 47°. There the story continues: — 
"finding that the land trended north and northeast, with a broad inlet of sea, 
•between 47° and 48° of latitude, he entered thereinto, sailing therein more than 
twenty days, and found that land trending still sometime northwest and north- 
-east and north and also east and southeastward, and very much broader sea 
■than was at the said entrance, and he passed by divers islands in that sailing ; 
and, at the entrance of this said strait, there is, on the northwest coast thereof, 
a great headland or island, with an exceedingly high pinnacle or spired rock, 
like a pillar, thereupon." Further on in the narration it is stated that "being 
■entered thus far into the North Sea already, and, finding. the sea wide enough 
everywhere, and to be about thirty or forty leagues wide in the mouth of the 
straits, where he entered, he thought he had now well discharged his ofiice ; 
and that, not being armed to resist the force of the savage people that might 
^happen, he therefore set sail, and returned to Acapulco." 

Although the location of the strait described by the old Greek pilot is given 
■as between 47° and 48°, one degree too far south, and although it is not pos- 
sible to follow precisely the various turns in the course or to identify exactly 
the "high pinnacle or spired rock, like a pillar thereupon," nevertheless there 
is so much of a general resemblance to the location which Meares. the English 
navigator two hundred years later distinguished by the fine-sounding appellation 
of the Straits of Juan de Fuca upon, the northwest corner of our good state 
of Washington, that we can only note the strangeness of the coincidence, if 
that is all that it is, and to cherish the hope that in reality more than three cen- 
turies ago Juan de Fuca himself did actually view that wondrous archipelago 
and thread the "Inland Passage" clear to the northern tip of what we know as 
Vancouver Island, where being in the illimitable expanses of the Pacific he 
really believed that he had entered the Atlantic and had found the long-sought 
"Strait of Anian." At any rate the story is such a fine one that, if not true, it 
XDught to be. 

Fascinating as is the story of the gradual movement of discovery from 
Mexico and Tehuantepec northward along the coast of the Califomias, the 
scope of this volume does not permit us to moor our bark upon the shore of 
Montalvos's "Island of California on the right hand of the Indies very near the 
'terrestrial Paradise." The inhabitants of our favored sister state to the south, 
rising out of the purple mists of historic romance and of the purple seas and 
•enchanted airs of that belt of the Pacific, are already sufficiently assured that 


the Golden State is not only near the "terrestrial Paradise" but is the very 
sum and substance of all Paradises joined, to need none of our humble assistance 
in exalting their home land. We can pause in passing only to say that following 
the gorgeous age of Cortez and Balboa and Ulloa and Alarcon came that 
curious and even pathetic era which has done so much to provide material for 
the present age of a distinctive era of California literature, the Age of the 

There were, in fact, two eras of missions — one that of Salvatierra and his 
associates, at Lareto, in Lower California, at the close of the Seventeenth 
Century, and the other that of seventy years later, in which Father Juni- 
pero Serra was the central figure and as a result of which missions and 
presidios and actual settlements took possession of those fair valleys where 
the glorious cities of American California, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, 
Monterey and San Francisco link the lines of Padres with those of modern 
nation-makers. But while that unique era of Spanish California was in process 
of growth, explorers of the Spanish Main were turning their prows northward 
to solve the still baffling mystery of the Northwest Passage. Aside from those 
whom we have denominated as belonging to the "Age of Liars," there were 
many whose voyages hold an honored place in authentic annals. In fact, long 
before any Padre set forth with crucifix and rosary to save the souls of the 
native Calif ornian's, Cabrillo and Ferrelo had glided through the northern fogs 
to a point which they reported as latitude 44°, though the judgment of his- 
torians is that it was probably not north of Cape Mendocino. In 1602 and 1603 
another pair of the great mariners made their way up the California coast. 
These were Vizcaino and Aguilar. The latter, separated by storm from his 
principal, reached, as he claimed, latitude 43°, and there he discovered a great 
river, January 19, 1603. Much discussion has arisen as to whether this could 
have been the Columbia. It is the only really great river on the coast of 
Oregon, but it is over three degrees too far north for the Rio de Aguilar, as 
that supposed river became named on Spanish maps. But observations were 
not very accurately made in those times, nor very correctly reported. So it is 
quite within the bounds of possibility that the great "River of the West" might 
be justly known as Aguilar. 


After the time of Aguilar a great lull in Spanish, English and French 
explorations ensued for a century and a half. This lull was due to the stupend- 
ous wars of the Seventeenth Century, involving all western Europe. But while 
western Europe was thus negligent of the Pacific shore of America, a new 
claimant entered the field from the north. The "Colossus of the North," 
Russia, under the bold genius of Peter the Great, had started on her great 
march to warm water and open ports. Part of the stupendous conception of 
that creator of modem Russia was to acquire North America by moving east- 
ward and southward. Siberia was the first fruit of the eastward expansion. 
This, too, like the acquirement of California by Spain, is another story and 
cannot be related here. Suffice it to say that with the entrance of this new 
champion into the lists. North America, and particularly Oregon, became the 


prize of contest between four great European powers, Spain, England, Russia 
and France, the last, however, not playing the same role as the others. 

The name Oregon, like that of California and Idaho — all sonorous and 
appropriate names — has hidden and mysterious sources. First appearing in the 
work of Jonathan Carver soon after the Revolutionary War, and a few years 
later made familiar to the reading public in the sounding lines of Bryant's 
"Thanatopsis" — "or lose thyself in the continuous woods where there rolls the 
Oregon and hears no sound save his own dashings" — it had come to be a lure 
to the navigators of the four great nations named above. An impression of 
some great "River of the West" or "Rio de los Reyes," or "Rio de Aguilar" 
had become planted in the minds of the explorers of the Eighteenth Century. 
It is evident that there were many unrecorded voyages along our western 
coast. We have the romantic tale of the "beeswax ship" on the Oregon coast, 
near Tillamook, as one example. The wax is actually there, and large amounts 
have been taken from it. Some believed for a time that it was sort of a 
natural wa.x or paraffine, but the discovery of a bee in a cake of it, and also 
the existence in some cakes of the sacred letters I. H. S. make clear that it 
is real wa.x. It is probable that the wax was the cargo of some wrecked ship 
sent by the Padres of California to found a mission in the North, and that 
the wax was intended for candles. As another example of these unrecorded 
voyages we have the "treasure ship" at the foot of Nekahni Mountain, a 
regular Parnassus of Indian mythology. According to this story, a group of 
Indians, gathered on the grassy slopes of the sacred mountain, looking toward 
the ocean, saw approaching what at first they supposed to be an immense bird. 
While they watched in secret they saw that the bird was a big boat, and that 
it came to a halt in the ocean some distance from the land, and that from it 
was proceeding a small boat. In this were several men and with them a black, 
whom they supposed to be some sort of a goblin or spook. The men in the 
boat landed, dug a hole in the ground at the foot of the mountain, and there 
they killed the black man and threw him into the hole. Then they carried 
from their boat a big chest which they put in the same hole. Covering it all 
carefully they left the deposit and rowed away in their boat to the ship. Soon 
the sails were shaken out and the vessel soon disappeared from view. It is 
a fact that at the point which Indian tradition assigns for the location of the 
chest and the "spook," there are certain arrows and pointers graven in the 
rock. In recent years the whole place has been dug over by treasure hunters, 
some even invoking mediumistic guidance to the location, but no iron-bound 
and rusted chest, with its diamond necklaces and golden crucifixes and tar- 
nished Spanish doubloons, has yet rewarded the search. Still another story 
comes to us from a little farther north, the most complete in its original 
sources of any. This was derived by Prof. Franz Boas of the Smithsonian 
Institution from Charlie Cultee, an old Indian of Bay Center, in Willapa 
Harbor. The substance of it comes also from other sources. According to 
this tale, one afternoon in strawberry time a group of Indians at a point 
about two miles south of the mouth of the Columbia River saw, far out in the 
ocean, a great object slowly drawing near the shore. In the morning an old 
woman went down toward the beach and saw this same big object in the surf 


at the edge of the shore. Now this old woman had been greatly bereaved some 
years before by the death of her son. According to Charlie Cultee, "she wailed 
a whole year and then she stopped." She hastened to the shore with the 
idea that she might hear something of her son. While she was gazing with 
awe and fear two creatures resembling bears but standing up, came out on the 
'"thing." They looked like men except that they were covered with hair of a 
light color. They stretched out their hands to the woman and signified that 
they wished something to drink. The old woman, seeing that they indeed looked 
and moved like men, but thinking that they must be of those told of in the 
■'Ecannum Tales," fled in great fear to the village. When her tale was told 
the inhabitants hastened to the shore and discovered that the "thing" was 
indeed a huge canoe with trees driven into it. Also, they found that the two 
creatures like bears had gone ashore, made a fire and were holding grains 
of corn (or they afterwards found them to be) in a kettle over the fire. The 
grains were popping around very rapidly. The Indians seem to have been 
greatly impressed with this popcorn, and, according to Professor Boas, that 
feature of the story is found in all the various versions. The Indians brought 
water for the two strangers, and by examining their hands and taking off their 
clothes and seeing their white skins, discovered that they were indeed men. 
But while the mystery was thus being solved the ship caught fire in some 
way, and after burning fiercely for a time was entirely consumed. Or, as 
Charlie Cultee expressed it, "it burned up just like fat." Mr. Silas Smith, 
who lived a long time at Astoria and whose mother was an Indian woman, 
stated in his narrative that the Indians used for these men a word, "Tlohonipts," 
meaning "Those who drift ashore," and that that name afterwards became 
applied to all Whites indiscriminately. 

By the burning of the ship the Indians got a huge quantity of iron and 
copper. This was of the utmost value for knives and chisles and axes. Best 
of all, one of the men knew how to make those implements. He was in great 
demand, and strife arose between the Clatsops and Chinooks and Wahkiakums, 
and even the far-off Chehalees, as to which should have him. He finally was 
allowed to make a house of his own on the south side of the river. Some have 
undertaken to identify his location with Lake Culleby, on the edge of the high 
timber land, near the present Gearhart Park. This iron-worker's name was 
Konapee. According to the story, he and his companion, after living a long 
time there and having Indian women, tried to get away southward and were 
never heard of afterwards. A narration fitting curiously into this story is 
found in Franchere's narrative (by Gabriel Franchere, one of the Astor party 
of 1810), to the effect that Franchere saw in 1814, at the Cascades, an old man 
called Soto, who stated that his father was a white man, a Spaniard, who 
was wrecked on the Oregon coast at the mouth of the Columbia. Silas Smith 
stated that his mother knew, in 1830, an old woman who was a daughter of 
Konapee or Soto, whom Mr. Smith believed to be the same person. From 
this data it was conjectured by H. S. Lyman, in his history of Oregon, page 
172, Volume I, that the date when Konapee was cast upon the shore was about 
1725. One interesting collateral fact with the iron work of Konapee is that 
when authentic discoveries were made along the Oregon coast the Indians 


seemed to be entirely familiar with iron implements, though not having many^ 
and hence very eager to get them. In the account of Cook's voyages it is 
stated that not even cannon seemed to surprise the Indians on the coast of 

Such may be looked on as the general view of the prehistoric or legendary 
age of Northwestern history. That age blends in a more or less vague manner 
with the early narratives like those of Aguilar and Vizcaino and the later 
authentic age of Heceta, Cook, Gray, and Vancouver, in the later Eighteenth 
Century. The author of this volume has written for an earlier work ("The 
Columbia River") a narrative of that stage of history from which he derives 
the remainder of this chapter. 

"This new movement of Pacific exploration, destined to continue with 
no cessation to our own day, was ushered in by Spain. There was even yet 
much vitality in the fallen mistress of the world. Impelled by both religious 
zeal and hope of material gain, the immigration of 1769 went forth from 
La Paz to San Diego and Monterey. That inaugurated the singular and 
poetic, in some aspects even beautiful, history of Spanish California, an era 
which has provided so much of romance and poetry for literature in the 
California of our own times. Tlie march of events had made it plain to the 
Spanish government that, if it was to retain a hold on the Pacific Coast, it 
must bestir itself. Russia, England, and France, released in a measure from 
the pressure of European struggles, were fitting out expeditions to resume 
the arrested efforts of the Sixteenth Century. It seemed plain also that colonial 
America was going to be an active rival on the seas. And well may it have so 
seemed, for, in the sign of the Yankee sailor, the conquest was to be made. 

Spain's opportunity 

But just at that important juncture a most favoring condition arose for 
Spain. The government of England precipitated the struggle of the Amer- 
ican Revolution. France soon joined to strike her island rival a deadly blow by 
assisting in the liberation of the colonies. For the time, Spain had nearly a 
clear field for Pacific discovery, so far as England and France were concerned. 
As for Russia, the danger was more imminent. Russia had, indeed, begun to 
look in the direction of Pacific expansion a long time prior to the Spanish 
immigration to California. That vast monarchy, transformed by the genius 
of Peter the Great, had stretched its arms from the Baltic to the Aleutian 
archipelago, and had looked from the frozen seas of Siberia to the open Pacific 
as a fairer field for expansion. ^Many years elapsed, however, before Peter's 
great designs could be fulfilled. Not till 1741 did Vitus Behring thread the 
thousand islands of Sitka and gaze upon the glaciated crest of Mount St. 
Elias. And it was not till thirty years later that it became understood that 
the Bay of Avatcha was connected by the open sea with China. In 1771 the 
first cargo of furs was shipped directly from Avatcha to Canton. Then the 
vastness of the Pacific Ocean was first comprehended. Then it was first under- 
stood that the same waters which lashed the frozen ramparts of Kamchatka 
encircled the coral islands of the South Sea and roared against the stormy 
barriers of Cape Horn. 


The Russians had not found the Great River, though it appears that 
Behring, in 1771, had gone as far south as latitude 46°, just the parallel of 
the mouth of the Columbia. But he was so far off the coast as not to see it- 
Three Spanish voyages followed in rapid succession; that of Perez in 1774, 
of Heceta in 1775, and of Bodega in 1779. The only notable things in connec- 
tion with the voyage of Perez were his discovery of Queen Charlotte's Island, 
with the sea-otter furs traded by the natives, the first sight of that superb groupi 
of mountains which we now call the Olympic, but which the Spaniards named 
ihe Sierra de Santa Rosalia, and finally the fine harbor of Nootka on Vancouver 
Island, named by Perez Port San Lorenzo, for years the center of the fur 
trade and the general rendezvous of ships of all nations. But no river was 

With another year a still completer expedition was fitted out, Bruno- 
Heceta being commander and Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, second in, 
command. This voyage was the most important and interesting thus far m 
the history of the Columbia River exploration. For Heceta actually found the 
Great River, so long sought and so constantly eluding discovery. On June 
10, 1775, Heceta passed Cape Mendocino and entered a small bay just north- 
ward. There he entered into friendly relations with the natives and took 
solemn possession of the country in the name of his Catholic Majesty of 
Spain. Sailing thence northward, he again touched land just south of the- 
Straits of Fuca, but there he met disaster at the ill-omened point subsequently 
named Destruction Island. For there his boat, landing for exploration, was 
set upon by the savage inhabitants, and the entire boat-load murdered. Moving 
southward again, on August 15, in latitude 46° ICK, Heceta found himself 
abreast of some great river. Deciding that this must be indeed the mysterious; 
Strait of Fuca, or the long concealed river of the other ancient navigators,, 
he made two efforts to enter, but the powerful current and uncertain depths- 
deterred him, and he at last gave up the effort and bore away for Monterey. 
Three additional names were bestowed uppn the river at this time. Thinking 
the entrance a bay, Heceta named it, in honor of the day, Ensenada de Asun- 
cion. Later it was more commonly known as Ensenada de Heceta, while the 
Spanish charts designated the river as Rio de San Roque. The name of Cabo- 
de Frondoso (Leafy Cape) was bestowed upon the low promontory on the 
south, now known as Point Adams, while upon the picturesque headland on- 
the north, which we now designate as Cape Hancock, the devout Spaniards 
conferred the name of Cabo de San Roque, August 16, being the day sacred 
to that saint. 

heceta's account 

The original account given by Heceta is so interesting that we insert 
it here : 

"On the 17th day of August I sailed along the coast to the forty-sixth 
degree, and observed that from the lat. 47° 4' to that of 46° 10', it runs ire 
the angle of 18° of the second quadrant, and from that latitude to 46° 4', in 
the angle of 12 degrees of the same quadrant; the soundings, the shore, the 
wooded character of the country, and the little islands, being the same as oru 
the preceding days. 


"On the evening of this day I discovered a large bay, to which I gave the 
name Assumption Bay and a plan of which will be found in this parallel. Its 
latitude and longitude are determined according to the most exact means 
afforded by theory and practice. The latitudes of the two most prominent 
capes of this bay are calculated from the observations of this day. 

"Having arrived opposite this bay at six in the evening, and placed the 
ship nearly midway beween the two capes, I sounded and found bottom in four 
brazas (nearly four fathoms). The currents and eddies were so strong that, 
notwithstanding a press of sail, it was difficult to get clear of the northern cape, 
towards which the current ran, though its direction was eastward in conse- 
quence, of the tide being at flood. These currents and eddies caused me to be- 
lieve that the place is the mouth of some great river, or of some passage to an- 
other sea. Had I not been certain of the latitude of this bay, from my observa- 
tions of the same day, I might easily have believed it to be the passage discov- 
ered by Juan de Fuca, in 1592, which is placed on the charts between the 47th 
and the 48th degrees ; where I am certain no such strait exists ; because I an- 
chored on the 14th day of July midway between these latitudes, and carefully 
examined everything around. Notwithstanding the great difference between 
this bay and the passage mentioned by De Fuca, I have little difficulty in con- 
ceiving they may be the same, having observed equal or greater differences in 
the latitudes of other capes and ports on this coast, as I will show at the proper 
time; and in all cases latitudes thus assigned are higher than the real ones. 

"I did not enter and anchor in this port, which in my plan I suppose to be 
formed by an island, notwithstanding my strong desire to do so; because, hav- 
ing consulted with the second captain, Don Juan Perez, and the pilot, Don 
Cristoval Re villa, they insisted I ought not to attempt it, as, if we let go the 
anchor, we should not have men enough to get it up, and to attend to the other 
operations which would be thereby necessary. Considering this, and also, that 
in order to reach the anchorage I should be obliged to lower my long boat (the 
only boat I had) and to man it with at least fourteen of the crew, as I could 
not manage with fewer, and also as it was then late in the day, I resolved to 
put out; and at the distance of three leagues I lay to. In the course of that 
night I experienced heavy currents to the southwest, which made it impossible 
to enter the bay on the following morning, as I was far to leeward. These cur- 
rents, however, convinced me that a great quantity of water rushed from this 
bay on the ebb of the tide. 

"The two capes which I name in my plan. Cape San Roque and Cape 
Frondoso, lie in the angle of 10° of the third quadrant. They are both faced 
with red earth and are of little elevation. 

"On the 18th I observed Cape Frondoso, with another cape, to which I 
gave the name of Cape Falcon, situated in the latitude of 45° 43', and they lay 
at an angle of 22° of the third quadrant, and from the last mentioned cape I 
traced the coast running in the angle of 5° of the second quadrant. This land 
is mountainous, but not very high nor so well wooded as that lying between the 
latitudes of 48° 30' and 46°. On sounding I found great difference: at a dis- 
tance of seven leagues I got bottom at 84 brazas ; and nearer the coast I some- 
times found no bottom; from which I am inclined to believe there are reefs or 


shoals on these coasts, which is also shown by the color of the water. In some 
places the coast presents a beach, in others, it is rocky. 

"A flat-topped mountain, which I named the Table, will enable any navi- 
gator to know the position of Cape Falcon without observing it; as it is in the 
latitude of 45° 28', and may be seen at a great distance, being somewhat ele- 

It may be added that the Cape Falcon of Heceta was the bold elevation 
fronting the sea, known now as Tillamook Head, while the Table Mountain was 
doubtless what we now call Nekahni Mountain, both points especially the 
scenes of Indian myth. 


Such was the actual discovery of the Columbia River, and as such the 
Spaniards justly laid claim to Oregon. Their treaty with the United States in 
1819 was the formal conveyance of their claims to us. Nevertheless Heceta 
only half discovered the river. It seems very strange that with the all-important 
object of two centuries' search before him, he should so readily have succumbed 
to the fear of the powerful outstanding current. But the Spaniards were not 
in general the patient and persistent students of the shores that the English 
and Americans were. Their charts were in general worthless. Nevertheless 
Spain came nearest "making good" of any of the European powers. In 1779 
Bodega and Arteaga sailed far north and sighted a vast snow peak "higher 
than Orizaba," which was doubtless St. Elias. In the same year Martinez and 
DeHaro established themselves at Nootka. Subsequent voyages of Bodega, 
Valdez, and Galiano, and their first circumnavigation of Vancouver Island 
(named by them Quadra's Island, but by mutual courtesy and good-will of the 
British and Spanish rivals, designated Vancouver's and Quadra's Island), gave 
them a clear title to the Pacific Coast of North America from latitude 60° to 

But that is another story. What of the Great River? In the very year of 
the declaration of American independence, the most elaborate expedition yet 
fitted out for western discovery, set forth from England in command of that 
Columbus of the Eighteenth Century, Captain James Cook. After nearly two 
years of important movements in the Southern Hemisphere and among the 
Pacific Islands, Cook turned to that goal of all nations, the coast of Oregon. 
But the same singular fatality which had baffled many of the explorers thus 
far, attended this most skillful navigator and best equipped squadron thus far 
seen on Pacific waters. For Cook passed and repassed the near vicinity of both 
the Straits of Fuca and the Columbia River, but without finding either. Killed 
by the treacherous natives of Hawaii in 1778, Cook left a great name, a more 
intelligent conception of world geography than was known before, and greatly 
strengthened claims by Great Britain to the ownership of pivotal points of the 
Pacific. Of all the great English navigators. Cook is perhaps best entitled to 
join the grand chorus that sings the Songs of Seven Seas. But he did not see 
the Great River of the West. What had become of it? After the fleeting 
vision which it accorded to Heceta, it seemed to have gone into hiding. 



But a new set of motives came into play immediately after Cook's voyage. 
The two ships, the "Resolution" and "Discovery," took with them to China 
a quantity of furs from Nootka. A few years earlier, as previously stated, the 
Russian fur-trade from Avatcha to China sprang up at once. A new regime 
dawned in Chinese and East India trade. Gold, silver and jewels had not thus 
far rewarded the search of explorers. They were reserved for our later days 
of need. But the fur trade was as good as gold. The North Pacific Coast, 
already interesting, assumed a new importance in the eyes of Europeans. The 
"struggle for possession" was on. The ships of all nations converged upon 
the fabled Strait of Anian and River of Oregon. English, Dutch, French, Por- 
tuguese, Spanish, Americans, began in the decade of the eighties to crowd to the 
land where the sea-otter, beaver, seal and many other of the most profitable furs 
could be obtained for a trifle. The dangers of trading and the chances of dis- 
ease were great, but the profits of success were yet greater. 


The fur trade began to take the place of the gold hunt as a matter of inter- 
national strife. The manner in which our own country, weak and discordant 
as its diiiferent members were when just emerging from the Revolutionary 
War, entered the lists, and by the marvelous allotment of Fortune or the de- 
sign of Providence, slipped in between the greater nations and secured the 
prize of Oregon, is one of the epics of history, one which ought to have some 
native Tasso or Calderon to celebrate its triumph. 

Following quickly upon the conclusion of the American War, came a series 
of British, French and Russian voyages, which gradually centered more partic- 
larly about Vancouver Island and Nootka Sound. The British exceeded the 
others in numbers and enterprise. Among them we find names now preserved 
at many conspicuous points on the northern coast; as Portlock, Hanna, Dixon, 
Duncan, and Barclay. The most notable of the French was La Perouse, who 
was best equipped for scientific research of any one. A number of Russian 
names appear at that period, most of which may yet be found upon the maps 
of Alaska, as SchelikoiT, IsmylofiP, Betschareiif, Resanofif, Krusenstern, and 

But none of them set eyes on the river, and it seemed more mythical than 
ever. As a result, however, of their various expeditions, incomplete though 
they were, each nation followed the usual practice of claiming everj'thing in 
sight, either in sight of the eye or the imagination, and demanded the whole 
coast by priority of discovery. 

Never did a geographical entity seem so to play the ignis fatitiis with the 
world as did the river. Thirteen years elapsed from the discovery of the Rio 
San Roque by Heceta before any one of the dozens who had meanwhile passed 
up and down the coast, looked in again between the Cabo de Frondoso and the 
Cabo de San Roque. Then there came on one negative and two positive discov- 
eries, and the elusive stream was really found never to be lost again. 

The negative discovery was that of Captain John Meares in 1788. Since 
England afterwards endeavored to make the voyages of Meares an important 
link in her chain of proof to the ownership of Oregon, it is worthy of some 


special attention. It happened in this wise. Meares came first to the coast of 
Oregon in 1786, in command of the Nootka to trade for furs for the East India 
Company. With the Nootka, was the Sea-Otter, in command of Captain Walter 
Tipping. Both seem to have been brave and capable seamen. But disaster fol- 
lowed on their track. For having sailed far up the coast, they followed the 
Aleutian Archipelago eastward to Prince William's Sound. Separated on the 
journey, the Nootka reached a safe haven, but her consort never arrived, nor 
was she ever heard of more. The Nootka, after an Arctic winter of distress 
and after losing a large part of the crew through the ravages of scurvy, aban- 
doned the trade and returned to China. Discouraged by the outcome, the East 
India Company abandoned the American trade and confined themselves hence- 
forth to India. 

But Meares, finding that the Portuguese had special privileges in the fur 
trade and in the harbor of Nootka, entered into an arrangement with some 
Portuguese traders whereby he went nominally as supercargo, but really as. 
captain of the Felice, under the Portuguese flag. With her, sailed the "Iphi- 
genia" with William Douglas occupying a place similar to that of Meares. In 
estimating the subsequent pretensions of Great Britain, the student of history 
may well remember that these two mariners, though Englishmen, were sail- 
ing under the flag of Portugal. 

Reaching again the coast of Oregon, Meares looked in, June 29, 1788, at 
the broad entrance of an extensive strait which he believed to be the mythical 
Strait of Juan de Fuca of two centuries earlier, but which he did not pause 
to explore. He went on to Nootka, and then again turned his prow southward. 
On July 5th, in lat. 46° 10', he perceived a deep bay which he considered at once to 
be the object of his search. Essaying to enter, he found the water shoaling with 
dangerous rapidity and a prodigious easterly swell breaking on the shore. 
From the masthead it seemed that the breakers extended clear across the en-. 
trance. With rather curious timidity for a bold Briton right on the eve of a 
discovery for which all nations had been looking, Meares lost courage and 
hauled out, attaching the name Deception Bay to the inlet and Cape Disap- 
pointment to the northern promontory, the last a name still officially used. 

Meares left as his final conclusion in the matter the following memoran- 
dum: "We can now assert that no such river as that of St. Roque exists, as 
laid down in the Spanish charts." In view of this statement of the case it 
would certainly seem that he could not be accepted as a witness for English 
discovery, even if the Portuguese flag had not been flying at his masthead. 

After bestowing the name of Lookout upon the great headland christened 
Cape Falcon by Heceta and known to us as Tillamook Head, Meares squared 
away for Nootka, and there he spent a very profitable season in the fur trade. 


But into the harbor of Nootka that same year of 1788, there sailed the 
ship of destiny, the Columbia Rediviva, in command of John Kendrick. With 
the Columbia came the "Lady Washington," commanded by Robert Gray. 
These were the advance guard of Yankee ships which the energies of our lib- 


erated forefathers were sending forth as an earnest of the coming conquest of 
Oregon by the universal Yankee nation. 

Gray and Kendrick were engaged in the fur trade, and their energy and 
intelligence made it speedily profitable. It took a long time and a long arm, 
sure enough, in that day, to complete the great circuit of the outfitting, the 
bartering, the transferring, the return trip and the final sale ; — three years in all. 
The ship would be fitted out in Boston or New York with trinkets, axes, 
hatchets, and tobacco, and proceed by the Horn to the coast of Oregon, — six 
months or sometimes eight. Then up and down the coast, as far as known, 
they would trade with natives for the precious furs, making a profit of a 
thousand per cent, on the investment. Gray, on one occasion, got for an axe 
a quantity of furs worth $8,000. The fur barter would take another six or 
eight months. Then with hold packed with bales of furs, the ship would turn her 
prow for Macao or Canton, six or eight months more. In China, the cargo 
of furs would go out and a cargo of nankeens, teas, and silks go in, with a great 
margin of profit at both ends. Then away again to Boston, there to sell the 
proceeds of that three years' "round-up" of the seas for probably ten times the 
entire cost of outfitting and subsistence. The glory, fascination, and gain of 
the ocean were in it, and also its dangers. Of this sufficient witness is found 
in vanished ships, murdered crews, storm, scurvy, famine, and war. But it was 
a great age. Gray and Kendrick were as good specimens of their keen, facile, 
far-sighted countrymen, as Meares and Vancouver were of the self-opinionated, 
determined, yet withal manly and thorough Britons. 

Among other pressing matters, such as looking out for good fur trade in 
order to recoup the Boston merchants who had put their good money into the 
venture, and looking out for the health of their crew, steering clear of the un- 
charted reefs and avoiding the treacherous natives, Gray and Kendrick remem- 
bered that they were also good Americans. They must see that the new Stars 
and Stripes had their due upon the new coast. 

The first voyage of the two Yankee skippers was ended and they set forth 
for another round in 1791, but with ships exchanged. Gray commanding the 
Columbia on this second voyage. The year 1792 was now come, and it was a 
great year in the annals of Oregon, three hundred years from Columbus, two 
hundred from Juan de Fuca. The struggle between England and Spain over 
conflicting rights at Nootka, which at one time threatened war, had been set- 
tled with a measure of amicability. As a commissioner to represent Great 
Britain, Capt. George Vancouver was sent out, while Bodega y Quadra was 
empowered to act in like capacity for Spain. Spaniards and Britons alike real- 
ised that, whatever the Nootka treaty may have been, possession was nine points 
of the law, and both redoubled their efforts to push discovery, and especially 
to make the first complete exploration of the Straits of Fuca and the supposed 
Great River. There were great names among the Spaniards in that year, some 
of which still commemorate some of the most interesting geographical points, 
as Ouimper, Maiaspina, Fidalgo, Camano, Elisa, Bustamente, Valdez and 
Galiano. A list of British names now applied to many points, as Vancouver, 
Puget, Georgia, Baker, Hood, Rainier, St. Helens, Whidby, Vashon, Town- 
send, and others, attests the name-bestowing care of the British commander. 

In going to Nootka as British commissioner, Vancouver was under instruc- 


tions to make the most careful examination of the coast, especially of the rivers 
or any interoceanic channels, and thereby clear up the many conundrums oi 
the ocean on that shore. With the best ship, the war sloop "Discovery," accom- 
panied by the armed tender "Chatham," in command of Lieutenant W. R. 
Broughton, and with the best crew and best general equipment yet seen on the 
coast, it would have been expected that the doughty Briton would have found 
all the important places yet unfound. That the Americans beat him in finding 
the river and that the Spaniards beat him in the race through the Straits and 
around Vancouver Island, may be regarded as due partly to a little British 
obstinacy at a critical time, but mainly due to the appointment of the Fates. 

On April 27th, Vancouver passed a "conspicuous point of land composed 
of a cluster of hummocks, moderately high and projecting into the sea." This 
cape was in latitude 46° 19', and Vancouver decided that here were doubtless 
the Cape Disappointment and Deception Bay of Meares. In spite of the sig- 
nificant fact that the sea here changed its color, the British commander was so 
prepossessed with the idea that Meares must have decided correctly the nature 
of the entrance (for how was it possible for an English sailor to be wrong and 
a Spaniard right?) that he decided that the opening was not worthy of more 
attention and passed on up the coast. So the English lost their second great 
chance of being first to enter the river. 

Two days later the lookout reported a sail, and as the ships drew together, 
the newcomer was seen to be flying the Stars and Stripes. It was the "Colum- 
bia Rediviva," Capt. Robert Gray, of Boston. In response to Vancouver's 
rather patronizing queries, the Yankee skipper gave a summary of his log for 
some months past. Among other things he stated that he had passed what 
seemed to be a powerful river in latitude 46° 10', which for nine days he had 
tried in vain to enter, being repelled by the strength of the current. He now 
proposed returning to that point and renewing his efifort. Vancouver declined 
to reconsider his previous decision that there could be no large river, and passed 
on to make his very elaborate exploration of the Straits of Fuca and their con- 
nected waters, and to discover to his great chagrin, that the Spaniards had fore- 
stalled him in point of time. 

The vessels parted. Gray sailed south and on May 10, 1792, paused abreast 
of the same reflex of water where before for nine days he had tried vainly to 
enter. The morning of the 11th dawned clear and favorable, light wind, gentle 
sea, a broad, clear channel, plainly of sufficient depth. The time was now come. 
The man and the occasion met. Gray seems from the first to have been ready 
to take some chances for the sake of some great success. He always hugged 
the shore closely enough to be on intimate terms with it. And he was ready 
boldly to seize and use favoring circumstances. So, as laconically stated in his 
log-book, he ran in with all sail set, and at two o'clock found himself in a 
large river of fresh water, at a point about twenty miles from the ocean. 


The geographical Sphinx was answered. Gray was its cedipus, though 
unlike the ancient Tlieban myth, there was no need that either the Sphinx of 
the Oregon coast or its discoverer perish. The river recognized and welcomed 
its master. 


The next day the "Columbia" moved fifteen miles up the stream. Finding 
that he was out of the channel, Gray stopped further progress and turned again 
seaward. Natives, apparently friendly disposed, thronged in canoes round the 
ship, and a large quantity- of furs was secured. 

The river already bore many names, but Gray added another, and it was 
the one that has remained, the name of his good ship "Columbia." Upon the 
southern cape he bestowed the name of Adams, and upon the northern, the 
name of Hancock. These also remain. 

The great exploit was completed. The long-sought River of the West 
was found, and by an American. The path of destiny for the new Republic of 
the West was made secure. Without Oregon we probably would not have ac- 
quired California, and without a Pacific Coast, the United States would inevit- 
ably have been but a second-class power, the prey of European intrigue. The 
vast importance of the issue then becomes clear. Gray's happy voyage, that 
Yankee foresight and confidence in his seamanship and intuitive suiting of 
times and conditions to results which marks the vital turning points of history 
differentiate Gray's discovery from all others upon our Northwest coast. 

As we view the matter now a century and more later, we can see that our 
national destiny, and especially the vast part that we now seem at the point of 
taking in world interests through the commerce of the Pacific, hung in the bal- 
ance to a certain extent upon the stubborn adherence by Vancouver, the Briton, 
to the preconceived opinion that there was no important river at the point 
designated by his Spanish predecessor, and the contrasted readiness of the 
American Gray to embrace boldly the chances of some great discovery. It is 
true that the "Oregon Question" was not to be settled for several decades. 
Much diplomacy and contention almost to the verge of war, were yet to come, 
but Gray's fortunate dash, "with all sail set, in between the breakers to a large 
river of fresh water," gave our nation a lead in the ultimate adjustment of the 
case, which we never lost. 

We have said that there was one negative discovery — that of Meares — 
and two positive ones. Gray's was one of the two latter, and that of Broughton, 
in command of the "Chatham" accompanying Vancouver, was the other. 

On May 20th, the "Columbia Rediviva" — a most auspicious name— bade 
adieu to the scene of her glory, and with the Stars and Stripes floating in 
triumph at her mizzen mast, turned northward. Again the American captain 
encountered Vancouver and narrated to him his discovery of the river. With 
deep chagrin at his own failure in the two most important objects of discovery 
in his voyage, the British commander directed Broughton to return to lat. 
46° 10', enter the river, and proceed as far up as time allowed. 

Accordingly, on October 21st, the companion ships parted at the mouth of 
the river, the "Discovery" proceeding to Monterey, while the "Chatham" 
crossed the bar, described by Broughton as very bad, and endeavored to ascend 
the bay that strethced out beautiful and broad before them. But finding the 
channel intricate and soundings variable, the lieutenant deemed it advisable to 
leave the ship at a point which must have been about twenty miles from the 
ocean, and to proceed thence in the cutter. 

There is one thing observable in Vancouver's accounnt of this expedition 
of Broughton, and that is first, his assumption that the lower part of the Colum- 


bia is a bay and that its true mouth is at a point above that reached by Gray; 
and second, that the river is much smaller than it really is. It is hard to recon- 
cile the language used in Broughton's report as given by Vancouver with the 
supposition of candor and honesty. For while it is true that the lower part of 
the river is of bay-like expanse from four to nine miles in width, yet it is en- 
tirely fresh and has all river characteristics. One of the points especially made 
by Gray was that he filled his casks with fresh water. Moreover, the bar is 
entirely at the ocean limit. So completely does the river debouch into the 
ocean, in fact, that in the great flood of 1894 the clams were killed on the ocean 
beaches for a distance of several miles on either side of the mouth of the river. 


As to the size of the river, Broughton gives its width repeatedly as half 
a mile or a jquarter of a mile, whereas it is at almost no point below the Cas- 
cades less than a mile in width, and a mile and a half is more usual. Broughton 
expresses the conviction that it can never be used for navigation by vessels of 
any size. In view of the vast commerce now constantly passing in and out, 
the absurdity of that idea is and has been for years sufficiently exhibited. The 
animus of the British explorers is obvious. By showing that the mouth of the 
river was really an inlet of the sea, they hoped to lay a claim to British occu- 
pancy as against Gray's discovery, and by belittling the size of the river they 
hoped to save their own credit with the British Admiralty for having lost so 
great a chance for first occupation. 

Broughton ascended the river to a point near the modern town of Wash- 
ougal. He bestowed British names after the general fashion, as Mount Hood, 
Cape George, Vancouver Point, Puget's Island, Young's Bay, Menzies' Island 
and Whidby's River. With true British assurance, he felt that he had "every 
reason to believe that the subjects of no other civilized nation or state had 
ever entered this river before; in this opinion he was confirmed by Mr. Gray's 
sketch, in which it does not appear that Mr. Gray either saw or was ever within 
five leagues of its entrance." Therefore he "took possession of the river, and 
the country in its vicinity, in his Britannic Majesty's name." 

In view of all the circumstances of Gray's discovery, and his impartation 
of it to the British, this language of Vancouver has a coolness, as John Fiske 
remarks, which would be very refreshing on a hot day. 

On November 10th, the "Chatham" crossed the bar outward bound for 
Monterey to join the "Discovery." 

Such, in rapid view, were the essential facts in the long and curiously com- 
plicated finding of our River. We see the foundation of the subsequent con- 
tention between Great Britain and the United States. 

The important explorations of Puget Sound, the Gulf of Georgia, and the 
related waters upon the northwestern comer of the state of Washington were 
conducted by British, Americans and Spaniards. But though many navigators 
of those nations participated in that great task, the British may justly claim 
the greater credit for extensive and continuous discovery. By the close of the 
century it may be stated that the coast of Oregon was fully known, and the 
ifirst era of discovery was ended. 



explorations by land — louisiana purchase lewis and clark expedition 

indians' vapor baths measuring the rivers — start on return journey 

— Jefferson's tribute to captain lewis 

The successive acquisitions of territory by which the United States came 
to embrace the whole breadth of the continent may almost be said to constitute 
our national history. Practically every great issue of American politics, — 
constitutional interpretation, slavery, tariff, money, interstate commerce, rail- 
road legislation. Civil War, — has been in some way connected with the poli- 
cies pertaining to the acquisition and subsequent government of new territory. 

John Fiske has pointed out three great methods in history of controlling 
and governing territory : — first, conquest without incorporation, Oriental ; sec- 
ond, conquest with incorporation and assimilation, Roman ; third, acquisition 
with incorporation, assimilation, and representation, Teutonic. The last word 
is not a good one. If Fiske had written that now he would probably have writ- 
ten Anglo-Saxon. But we may venture to add a fourth to this list, i. e., acquisi- 
tion by discovery or honest purchase, with participation in government of new 
parts on equal terms with old, American. We have not absolutely adhered to 
that great principle at all times, but the exceptions, as in case of Hawaii, Porto 
Rico, Panama and the Philippine Islands, have been short-lived or will be, and 
the whole tendency and overwhelming policy and intention of the American 
people is to recognize and maintain peaceful additions of territory whose inhab- 
itants may, as soon as possible, become equal participants in the making and 
executing of laws and in acquiring their part of the national domain and in the 
other benefits and opportunities which may accrue from the democratic federal 
system of the Union. 

In many respects the action of Maryland in 1777 upon the submission to the 
Thirteen States by the Continental Congress of the proposed Articles of Con- 
federation was the most important event of that stage of history, next to the 
Declaration of Independence. Marj'land refused to ratify those articles unless 
the states holding western lands would cede them to the Federal union. In 
spite of bitter feeling in Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and 
Connecticut, which held conflicting claims in the Ohio and Great Lakes regions, 
little Maryland gallantly stuck to her ultimatum with the result that those land- 
claiming states gradually accepted the situation, and the United States of 
America became the land owner of the continent. That event created the 
National Government. That became the strong bond of union. By reason of 
the nationalization of the land svstem, the immigrants to the new lands west of 


the Alleghenies, the state makers of the first era after Independence, became 
Americans, not Virginians, New Yorkers, New Englanders, or Carohnians,. 
By reason of that sentiment, planted deep in the minds of the builders of the 
Lake states, of the Ohio, and the upper Mississippi, the Union withstood the 
shock of civil war and still stands square to the world, battling now for the 
principle of self-government for the world, and having demonstrated that a 
"nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are- 
created equal" can "long endure." 


Next to that first acquisition of territory by the newly created Union, came 
both in time and importance the Louisiana Purchase. The subsequent acquisi- 
tion of Texas, Oregon and California was the logical consummation of the 
earlier. With these vast regions extending to the Western Ocean the Ameri- 
cans outgrew their earlier habit of thinking in terms of European politics and 
began to think in terms of the American continent. We then became a real 
people. It became evident by the Louisiana Purchase that the same type of 
people were to march to the Pacific and build states along their road who had 
already demonstrated the proposition, that "governments derive their just 
powers from the consent of the governed." The author of those words had 
seen more clearly perhaps than any other statesman of that era the world' 
vision of a great American democracy, independent of Europe and yet by 
reason of geographical position as well as political ideals and social aspirations 
the natural mediator among peoples and the ultimate teacher and enlightener 
of mankind. When, therefore, as a result of the political revolution of 1800 
and the permanent establishment of the democratic conception in the leader- 
ship of American politics, Thomas Jefferson found himself invested with the 
enormous responsibility of framing policies and measures for the new era, 
one of his foremost aims was to turn the face of the nation westward. Having 
long entertained the idea that the true policy was to secure such posts of van- 
tage beyond the Alleghenies as would lead by natural stages to the acquisition 
of the countr>' beyond the Mississippi even to the Pacific, he was alert to seize- 
any opening for pursuing that truly American policy. He did not have long to 
wait. At the time of his inauguration the stupendous energy of the French 
Revolution had become concentrated in that overpowering personality. Napo- 
leon Bonaparte. Holding then the position of First Consul, but as truly the im- 
perial master as when he placed the Iron Crown of the Lombards upon his own 
head, "the man on horseback" perceived that a renewal of the great war was 
inevitable and that Austria on land and England at sea were going to put metes 
to his Empire if human power could do it. Nothing was more hateful ta 
Napoleon than to let French America, or Louisiana, slip from his grasp. But 
he had not the maritime equipment to defend it. England was sure to take it 
and that soon. Monroe, the American envoy, was in Paris fully instructed by 
President Jefferson what to do. All things were ready. The men and the 
occasion met. The Louisiana Purchase was consummated. For less tham 
three cents an acre a region now comprising thirteen states or parts of states,. 


estimated at over 565,000,000 acres, equal in extent to all Europe outside of 
Russia and Scandinavia, became part of the United States. 


When that great event w^as consummated and one of the milestones in the 
world's progress upon the highway of universal democracy had been set for 
good, the next step in the mind of Jefferson was to provide for the exploration 
of the vast new land. The westward limits of Louisiana were not indeed de- 
fined by the treaty of purchase otherwise than as the boundaries by which the 
territory had been ceded by Spain to France, and those boundaries in turn were 
defined only as those by which France had in 1763 ceded to Spjiin. Hence the 
western boundary of Louisiana was indefinite, although subsequent agreements 
and usages determined the boundary to be the crest of the Rocky Mountains as 
far south as Texas. Jefferson seems to have thought that the entire continent 
to the Pacific ought to be included in the exploration, for be saw also that the 
destiny of his country required the ultimate union of Atlantic and Pacific 
coasts, as well as the great central valley. From these conceptions and aims of 
Jefferson sprang that most interesting and influential of all exploring expedi- 
tions in our history, the Lewis and Clark Expedition from St. Louis up the 
Missouri, across the Rocky Mountains, and down the Snake and Columbia 
rivers to the Pacific Ocean. 

Jefferson had contemplated such an expedition a long time. Even as far 
back as December 4, 1783, in a letter to George Rogers Clark, he raised the 
question of an exploration from the Mississippi to California. In 1792 he took 
it up with the American Philosophical Society, and even then Meriwether 
Lewis was eager to head such an expedition. In a message to Congress of 
January 18, 1803, before the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson developed the im- 
portance of a thorough exploration of the continent even to the Western Ocean. 
With his characteristic secrecy, Jefferson was disposed to mask the great design 
of ultimate acquisition of the continent under the appearance of scientific re- 
search. In a letter to Lewis of April 27, 1803, he says: — "The idea that you 
are going to explore the Mississippi has been generally given out ; it satisfies 
public curiosity and masks sufficiently the real destination." That real destina- 
tion was of course the Pacific Ocean, and the fundamental aim was the con- 
tinental expansion of the then crude and struggling Republic of the West. 
Considering the momentous nature of the undertaking and the possibilities to 
cover, it is curious and suggestive that Lewis had estimated the expense at 
$2,500, and Jefferson called upon Congress for that amount of appropriation. 
An explorer of the present would hardly expect to go outdoors on that scale 
of expense. Jeffersonian simplicity vnth a vengeance! 

The scope of this book does not permit any detailed account of the prepara- 
tions or of the personnel of the party. Suffice it to say that the leader, Meri- 
wether Lewis, and his lieutenant, William Clark, were men of energy, discre- 
tion, courage, and the other necessary qualities for such an undertaking. While 
not men of education or general culture (Clark could not even spell or com- 
pose English correctly), they both had an abundance of common sense and in 
preparation for their mission gained a hurried preparation in the essentials of 
botany, zoology, and astronomy such as might enable them to observe and re- 


port intelligently upon the various objects of discovery and the distances and 
directions traversed. 

Jefferson's instructions to Captain Lewis give one an added respect for the 
intelligence and broad hifmanity of the Great Democrat. Particularly did he 
enjoin upon the leader of the party the wisdom of amicable relations with the 
natives. The benevolent spirit of the President appears in his direction that 
kine-pox matter be taken and that its use for preventing small-pox be explained 
to the Indians. All readers of American history should read these instructions, 
both for an estimate of Jeft'erson personally and for light on the conditions and 
viewpoints of the times. 

The number in the party leaving St. Louis was forty-five. But one death 
occurred upon the whole jouniey, which lasted from May 14, 1804, to Septem- 
ber 23, 1806. Never perhaps did another so extended and difficult expedition 
suffer so little. And this was the more remarkable from the fact that there 
was no physician nor scientific man with the party and that whatever was 
needed in the way of treating the occasional sicknesses or acccidents must be 
done by the Captains. While to their natural force and intelligence the party 
owed a large share of its immunity from disaster, good fortune surely attendea 
them. This seems the more noticeable when we reflect that this was the first 
journey across a wilderness afterwards accentuated with every species of suf- 
fering and calamity. 

The members of the party were encouraged to preserve journals and 
records to the fullest degree, and from this resulted a fullness of detail by a 
number of the men as well as the leaders which has delighted generations of 
readers ever since. And in spite of the fact that none of the writers had any 
literary genius, these journals are truly fascinating, on account of the nature 
of the undertaking and a certain glow of enthusiasm which invested with a 
charm even the plain and homely details of the long journey. 

The first stage of the expedition was from St. Louis, May 14, 1804, to a 
point 1 ,600 miles up the Missouri, reached November 2d. There the party win- 
tered in a structure which they called Fort Mandan. The location was on the 
west bank of the Missouri opposite the present city of Pierre, South Dakota. 
The journey had been made by boats at an average advance of ten miles a day. 
The river, though swift and with frequent shoals, offered no serious impedi- 
ments, even for a long distance above Fort Mandan. 

After a long, cold winter in the country of the Mandans, the expedition 
resumed its journey up the Missouri on April 7, 1805. Of the interesting de- 
tails of this part of their course we cannot speak. Reaching the headwaters of 
the Missouri on August 12th, they crossed that most significant spot, the Great 
Divide. A quotation from the journal of Captain Lewis indicates the lively 
sentiments with which they passed from the Missouri waters to those of the 
Columbia: — "As they proceeded, their hope of seeing the waters of the Colum- 
bia rose to almost painful anxiety ; when at the distance of four miles from the 
last abrupt turn of the stream, they reached a small gap formed by the high 
mountains which recede on either side, leaving room for the Indian road. From 
the foot of one of the lowest of these mountains, which rises with a gentle 
ascent for about half a mile, issued the remotest water of the Missouri. They 
had now reached the hidden sources of that river which had never before 


been seen by civilized man ; and as they quenched their thirst at the chaste and 
icy fountain, — as they sat down by the brink of the little rivulet which yielded 
its distant and modest tribute to the parent ocean — they felt themselves re- 
warded for all their labors and difficulties. * * *• They found the descent 
much steeper than on the eastern side, and at the distance of three-quarters of 
a mile, reached a handsome bold creek of cold, clear water running to the west- 
ward. They stopped to taste for the first time the waters of the Columbia." 

After some very harassing and toilsome movements in that vast cordon 
of peaks in which lie the cradles of the Missouri, Yellowstone, Snake, Clear- 
water, and Bitter Root rivers — more nearly reaching the starvation point than 
at any time on the trip — the party emerged upon a lofty height from which 
their vision swept over a vast expanse of open prairie, in which it became 
evident there were many natives and, as they judged, the near vicinity of the 
great river, which, as they thought would carry them in short order to the 
Western Ocean of their quest. They little realized that they were yet more 
than six hundred miles from the edge of the continent. Descending upon the 
plain they made their way to the Kooskooskee, now known as the Clearwater 
River. As judged by Olin D. Wheeler in his invaluable book, "On the Trail 
of Lewis and Clark," the explorers crossed from what is now Montana into 
the present Idaho at the Lolo Pass, and proceeded thence down the broken 
country between the North and Middle forks of the Kooskooskee, reaching the 
junction on September 26th. The camp at that spot was called Canoe Camp. 
There they remained nearly two weeks, most of them sick through overeating 
after they had sustained so severe a fast in the savage defiles of the Bitter 
Roots, and from the effects of the very great change in temperature from the 
snowy heights to the hot valley below. At Canoe Camp they constructed boats 
for the further prosecution of their journey. They left their thirty-eight horses 
with three Indians of the Chopunnish or Pierced-nose tribe, or Nez Perce as we 
now know them. 

With their canoes they entered upon a new stage of their journey, one 
easy and pleasant after the hardships of the mountains. Down the beautiful 
Kooskooskee, then low in its autumn stage, they swept gaily, finding frequent 
rapids, though none serious. The pleasant sounding name Kooskooskee, which 
ought to be preserv-ed (though Clearwater is appropriate and sonorous) was 
supposed by the explorers to be the name of the river. This it appears was a 
misapprehension. The author has been told by a very intelligent Indian named 
Luke, living at Kamiah, that the Indians doubtless meant to tell the white men 
that the stream was Koos Koos, or water, water. Koos was, and still is, the Nez 
Perce word for water. Luke stated that the Indians did not regularly have 
names for streams, but only for localities, and referred to rivers as the water or 
koos belonging to some certain locality. 

After a prosperous descent of the beautiful and impetuous stream, for a 
distance estimated by them at fifty-nine miles (considerably over-estimated) 
the party entered a much larger stream coming from the south. This they un- 
derstood the Indians to call the Kimooenim. They named it the Lewis in honor 
of Captain Lewis. It was the great Snake River of our present maps. The 
writer has been told by Mr. Thomas Beall of Lewiston, that the true Indian 
name is Twelka, meaning Snake. The party was now at the present location 


\( ^ 

..... \ 

I' i»(*" 



of Lewiston and Clarkston, one of the most notable regions in the northwest 
for beauty, fertiHty, and all the essentials of capacity for sustaining a high type 
■civilized existence. 

The party camped on the right bank just below the junction and that first 
■camp of white men was nearly opposite both Lewiston and Clarkston of today. 
They say that the Indians flocked from all directions to see them. The scanti- 
ness of their fare had brought them to the stage of eating dog-meat which they 
.say excited the ridicule of the natives. The Indians gave them to understand 
that the southern branch was navigable about sixty miles ; that not far from 
the junction it received a branch from the south, and at two days' march up a 
larger branch called Pawnashte, on which a chief resided who had more horses 
than he could count. The first of these must be the Asotin unless indeed they 
referred to the Grande Ronde which is the first large stream, but is at a consid- 
erable distance from the junction. The Pawnashte must have been the Sal- 
mon, the largest tributary of the Snake. The Snake at the point of the camp 
■of the explorers was discovered to be about three hundred yards wide. The 
party noticed the greenish blue color of the Snake, while the Kooskooskee was 
as clear as crystal 

The Indians at this point are described as of the Chopunnish or Pierced- 
nose nation, the latter of those names translated by the French voyagers into 
the present Nez Perce. According to the observations of the party the men 
were in person stout, portly, well-looking; the women small, with good fea- 
tures and generally handsome. The chief article of dress of the men was a 
"buffalo or elk-skin robe decorated with beads, sea-shells, chiefly mother-of- 
pearl attached to an otter-skin collar and hung in the hair, which falls in front 
in two queues; feathers, paints of different kinds, principally white, green, 
and light blue, all of which they find in their own country. The dress of the 
women is more simple, consisting of a long skirt of argalia or ibex-skin, reach- 
ing down to the ankles without a girdle ; to this are tied little pieces of brass 
and shells and other small articles." Further on the journal states again: "The 
Chopunnish have few amusements, for their life is painful and laborious; and 
all their exertions are necessary to earn even their precarious subsistence. 
During the Summer and Autumn they are busily occupied in fishing for salmon 
and collecting their Winter store of roots. In the Winter they hunt the deer on 
snow shoes over the plains, and towards Spring cross the mountains to the 
Missouri for the purpose of trafficking for buffalo robes." It may be remarked 
ihere parenthetically that there is every indication that buffalo formerly inhab- 
ited the Snake and Columbia plains. In fact buffalo bones have been found in 
Tecent years in street excavations at Spokane. What cataclysm may have led 
to their extermination is hiddden in obscurity. But at the first coming of the 
whites it was discovered that one of the regular occupations of the natives was 
crossing the Rocky Mountains to hunt or trade for buffalo. 


Soon after resuming the journey on October 11th, the explorers note with 
•curiosity one of the vapor baths common among those Indians, which they say 
differed from those on the frontiers of the United States or in the Rocky 


Mountains. The bath house was a hollow square six or eight feet deep formed 
in the river bank by damming up with mud the other three sides and covering 
the whole completely except an aperture about two feet wide at the top. The 
bathers descended through that hole, taking with them a jug of water and a 
number of hot rocks. They would throw the water on the rocks until it steamed 
and in that steam they would sit until they had perspired sufficiently, and then 
they would plunge into cold water. This species of entertainment seems to 
have been very sociable, for one seldom bathed alone. It was considered a 
great affront to decline an invitation to join a bathing party. 

The explorers seem to have had a very calm and uneventful descent of 
Snake River. They describe the general lay of the country accurately, noting 
that beyond the steep ascent of two hundred feet (it is in reality a great deal 
more in all the upper part of this portion of Snake River) the country becomes 
an open, level, and fertile plain, entirely destitute of timber. They note all the 
rapids with sufficient particularity to enable any one thoroughly familiar with 
them to identify most of them. They make special observation of the long 
series of rapids commonly known now as the Riparia and Texas Rapids, and 
below these observe a large creek on the left which they denominate Kimooenim 
Creek, the present Tucannon. This is rather odd, for that had already been 
noted as the native name of the main river. A few miles farther down they 
pass through a bad rapid about twenty-five yards wide. Of course it must be 
remembered that the time was October and the river was about at its lowest. 
This was the narrow creek of the Palouse Rapids, which, however, is not so 
narrow as they estimated, even at low water. At the end of this rapid they 
discovered a large river on the right to which they give the name of Drewyer, 
one of their party, their mighty hunter in fact. This was a many-named stream, 
for it was later the Pavion, the Pavillion, and at last the present Palouse, the 
equivalent, we are told again by Thomas Beall, for gooseberry. The principal 
rapids below the entrance of the Palouse are known at present as Fish-hook, 
Long's Crossing, Pine Tree, the Potato Patch, and Five-mile. Five-mile looked 
so bad to them that they unloaded the canoes and made a portage of three- 
quarters of a mile. At a distance below this, which they estimated at seven 
miles, they reached that interesting place where the great northern and southern 
branches of the Big River unite. They were then at the location of the present 
village of Burbank. Many interesting events and observations are chronicled 
of their stay at that point. Soon after their arrival a regular procession of two 
hundred Indians from a camp a short distance up the Columbia came to visit 
them, timing their approach with the music of dnnns, accompanied with the 
voice. There seems to have followed a regular love-feast, both parties taking 
whiffs of the friendly pipe and expressing as best they could their common joy 
at the meeting. Then came a distribution of presents and a mutual pledging 
of good will. 


The captains measured the rivers, finding the Columbia 960 yards wide 
and the Snake 575. From their point of observation across the continued plain 
they noted how it rose into the heights on the farther side of the river, those 


which we now call "Horse Heaven." They had already taken into account the 
far distant mountains to the south, the present named Blue Mountains, which 
they thought about sixty miles distant, just about the right estimate. It is to be 
hoped that it was one of the perfect days not infrequent in October and that the 
azure hues of those mountains which we have today were before them in all 
their rich, soft splendor. They noted in the clear water of the river the in- 
credible number of salmon. The Indians gave them to understand that fre- 
quently in the absence of other fuel they burned the fish that, having been 
thrown out upon the bank, became so dry as to make excellent fuel. 

These Indians were of a tribe known as Sokulks. According to the de- 
scription they were hardly so good-looking a people as the Chopunnish, but 
were of mild and peaceable disposition and seemed to live in a state of com- 
parative happiness. The men, like those on the Kimooenim, were said to con- 
tent themselves with a single wife. The explorers noted that the men shared 
with their mates the labor of procuring subsistence more than is usual among 
savages. They were also very kind to the aged and infirm. Nor were they 
inclined to beggary. All things considered the Sokulks at the junction of the 
big rivers were worthy of much esteem. 

Captain Clark made a journey up the Columbia in the course of which 
he made sundry interesting observations on the Indian manner of preparing 
salmon for preservation as well as present use. At one point he entered one 
of the mat houses. He was immediately provided with a mat on which to sit 
and his hosts proceeded at once to cook a salmon for his repast. This they did 
by heating stones and dropping them into the buckets of water which contained 
the fish, adding stones to maintain the boiling of the water until the fish was 
properly cooked. After sufficient boiling these hospitable natives placed the fish 
before Captain Clark. He found it excellent. One thing which Captain Clark 
noticed at this point, was the large number of Indians blind in one or both eyes 
and having decayed teeth. He attributed the blindness to the glare of the sun 
on the unprotected eyes, and the decay of teeth to the habit of eating roots 
without cleaning them of the sandy soil in which they grew. It would appear 
from the topography of the journal that Captain Clark went some distance 
above the present location of Kennewick. for he describes a large river flowing 
from the west, known to the Indians as Tapteal. This was of course the useful 
and beautiful stream which is the vital feature of the valley described in this 
history, the Yakima. The fact that the Lewis and Clark party learned of it 
under the name of Tapteal seems to conform to the fact which we stated on the 
authority of Frank Olney in Chapter II, Part I, of this volume, that the word 
Yakima is a new name. The Tapteal appears at many points in later reports of 
explorers. On page 641 of Coues' edition of the Lewis and Clark journals, we 
find other forms of the name: Tapteel, Tapteat, Taptete, Tapatett, and Taptul. 
It does not appear from the journal that the party ascended or even that they 
crossed the Tapteal, but they were undoubtedly the first white men to see it. 

At this point of the journey the party secured an abundant supply of 
"game," grouse (or rather what we now call prairie chickens), ducks, and alsa 
a "prairie cock, about the size of a small turkey," (sage hens, as we call them). 
The journal states that they found none of these last except on the Columbia. 


In this connection it is interesting to note that some Indians say that genuine 
wild turkeys were known in the Yakima Valley in old times. 

While camped at the junction of the rivers the men were busily engaged 
in mending their clothes and traveling outfits and arms and otherwise prepar- 
ing for the next stage of the journey. One very interesting feature of the stay 
here was the fact that one of the chiefs with one of the Chimnapum, a tribe 
farther west, provided the party with a map of the Columbia and the nations on 
its banks. This was drawn on a robe with a piece of coal and afterwards trans- 
ferred by some one of the explorers to a piece of paper. They preserved it 
as a valuable specimen of Indian delineation. Inspection of the copy of this 
map shows a remarkable general accuracy. 

On October 18th, the party packed up and pushing ofif into the majestic 
river proceeded downward toward the highlands, evidently what we call the 
Wallula Gateway. In the general journal, called the edition of 1814, in which 
the contributions of all the party are merged, there seems to be some confusion 
as to the mouth of the Walla Walla River. The record mentions an island near 
the right shore fourteen and one-half miles from the mouth of Lewis' River 
and a mile and a half beyond that a small brook under a high hill on the left, 
"seeming to run its whole course through the high country." This evidently 
must be the Walla Walla River, though it can hardly be called a "small brook," 
even in the low season, and it flows quite distinctly in a valley, though the high- 
lands begin immediately below. They also say: "At this place too we ob- 
served a mountain to the southwest the form of which is conical, and its top 
covered with snow." This is obviously incorrect, for Mount Hood, which is the 
only snow mountain to the southwest visible any where near that place, cannot 
be seen from the mouth of the Walla Walla except by climbing the highlands. 
They might have seen Mount Adams to the northwest. 

On the next day, October 19th, the party was visited by a chief of whom 
they say more and tell more on their return. This was Y'elleppit. They de- 
scribed him as a "handsome, well-proportioned man, about five feet eight inches 
high and about thirty-five years old, with a bold and dignified countenance." 
His name is preserved in a station on the S. P. S. R. R., located just about at 
the place where the party met with this chieftain. 

After the meeting with Yelleppit the party once more committed them- 
selves to the downward rushing current of the Columbia, where it now skirts 
Benton and Klickitat counties on its right bank, and passed beyond the range 
of our story. Of the interesting details of their continued journey down the 
river and the final vision of the ocean, "that ocean, the object of all our labors, 
the reward of all our anxieties," we cannot speak. 


Having spent the winter at Fort Clatsop, about ten miles from the present 
Astoria and nearly the same distance from the present Seaside, they left Fort 
Clatsop for their long return journey, on March 23, 1806. They saw many 
interesting and important features of the country on the return, which they 
failed to note in going down. Among these, strange to say, was the entrance 


of the Willamette, the largest river below the Snake. The return was made 
as far as the "Long Narrows," (The Dalles) with the canoes, but at that point 
they procured horses and proceeded thence by land, mainly on the north side of 
the river. Reaching the country of the "Walla Wallahs," they again came in 
contact with their old friend, whose name appears in that portion of the jour- 
nal as Yellept. They found him more of a gentleman than ever. He insisted 
on his people making generous provision for the needs of the party, and gave 
them the valuable information that by going up the "Wolla Wollah" River 
and directly east to the junction of the Snake and Kooskooskee they might 
have a route full of grass and water and game, and much shorter than to follow 
the banks of the Snake River. Accordingly crossing from the north bank of 
the Columbia, which they had been following, they found themselves on the 
Wolla Wollah. They do not now describe it as before as a "small brook," 
but as "a handsome stream, about fifty yards wide and four and a half feet 
depth." They got one curious misapprehension here which was held later by 
explorers in general in regard to the Multnomah or Willamette. They under- 
stood from the Indians that the Willamette ran south of the Blue Mountains 
and was as large as the Columbia at the mouth of the Wolla Wollah, which they 
say was about a mile. They inferred from the whole appearance, as the Indians 
seemed to explain it, that the sources of the Willamette must approach those 
of the Missouri and Del Norte. One quaint and curious circumstance is men- 
tioned at this stage of the story, as it has been, in fact, at various times. And 
that is the extravagant delight which the Indians derived from the viohn. They 
were so fascinated with the sound of this instrument and the dancing which 
accompanied it that they would come in throngs and sometimes remain up all 
night. In this particular instance, however, they were so considerate of the 
white men's need of sleep that they retired at ten o'clock. 

We cannot give further space to this monumental journey. We must con- 
tent ourselves, in this farewell glance at this first and in many respects the 
most interesting and important of all the early transcontinental expeditions, 
with saying that the effects were of momentous, even transcendent value to the 
development of our country. Without the incorporation of Old Oregon into 
the United States, we would in all probability not have got California, and with- 
out our Pacific Coast frontage, think what a crippled and curtailed Union this 
would be ! We would surely have missed our destiny without the Pacific Coast. 
The Lewis and Clark Expedition was one of the essential links in the chain of 
acquisition. The summary of distances by the party is a total of 3,555 miles 
on the most direct route from the Mississippi at the mouth of the Missouri, to 
the Pacific Ocean, and the total distance descending the Columbia waters is 
placed at 640 miles. 

Jefferson's tribute to captain lewis 

President Jefferson did not exaggerate the character of this expedition in 
the tribute which he paid to Captain Lewis in 1813, when he expressed himself 
thus : "Never did a similar event excite more joy throughout the United States ; 
the humblest of its citizens have taken a lively interest in the details of this 
journey and looked with impatience for the information which it would fur- 



nish. Nothing short of the official journals of this extraordinary and interest- 
ing journey will exhibit the importance of the service, the courage, devotion, 
zeal and perseverance under circumstances calculated to discourage, which ani- 
mated this little band of heroes, throughout the long, dangerous and tedious 

Though many additional valuable discoveries of this land where we live 
were made by later explorers, Lewis and Clark and their assistants may justly 
be regarded as the true first explorers. They were moreover the only party 
that came purely for exploration. Later parties, though making valuable ex- 
plorations, did such work as incidental to the fur trade. With the completion 
of this great expedition, therefore, we may regard the Era of the Explorers 
completed and that of the Fur Hunters begun. 

Our special interest in this volume is the Yakima country and its inhabi- 
tants as noted by these first explorers. 

It does not appear that the Lewis and Clark party entered into the pre- 
cincts of the three counties covered by this history further than the edge of Ben- 
ton, apparently from about the vicinity of Kennewick and thence onward to the 
Yakima River and possibly toward Richland on their entrance to the country. 
Then when they resumed the journey after several days' pause at the junction 
of the big rivers, they seem to have touched the land at various points from 
about the vicinity of Hover downward, though their journey was by boat. On 
the return they came with horses from near the present vicinity of Fallbridge 
on the north side of the Columbia to a point opposite the mouth of the "Wolla 
Wollah," where, with the assistance of Yellept, they crossed to the southern 

At all events we may be assured that the eyes of Lewis and Clark and their 
associates were first to gaze upon the sublime river toward the azure hued 
Rattlesnake Mountains and then to pass through the Wallula Gateway to the 
broad plains of the Umatilla and the arid slopes with which the Horse Heavert 
fronts the south. 







In the preceding chapter we have given a view of the earliest discoveries by 
sea and land. By 1806 the general features of the continent both on coast and. 
interior were measurably well known. With the discoveries of Meares iind 
Vancouver and Broughton, the English explorers, and Gray and Kendrick and 
Ingraham, the Americans, and Heceta and Perez and Bodega, the Spaniards, 
and La Perouse, the Frenchman, and Behring, Schelikoff and ResanofY, the Rus- 
sians, and many more of those nations, the shore line all the way from the 
Arctic circle to Mexico had been traced and mapped. By the explorations of 
Malaspina the old myth of Anian had been finally exploded. The Inland Pas- 
sage, now the scene of many summer excursions to Alaska, had been definitely 
located, and it was understood that the old legendary voyages of Juan de Fuca 
and Maldonado and Fonte had no other basis of fact than the possible passage- 
through a maze of islands from one section of the Pacific Ocean to another. 
Such was the status of discovery on the coast. 

With the monumental expedition of Lewis and Clark the location of the- 
mountains, Rocky and Cascades, and some of their spurs, and the relations 
of the two great river systems, the Missouri and Columbia and their tribu- 
taries, to each other and to the mountains, had been determined in a general 
way. Such were the results of exploration. But one of the great working 
facts of the progress of geographical discovery has been that the main incen- 
tive was not discovery, pure and simple, but was some ulterior political or com- 
mercial end, or both of these combined. In the history of the discovery of 
the American Continent we find two of those ends playing a tremendous part 
in determining the aims and movements of discoverers. 

Political and commercial aims were curiously interwoven in these two 
great quests, and ultimately social and even religious aims added their part 
to the complexities and evolutiops and involutions of these fundamental aims. 
These two great quests were for gold and for furs. 

Hence, we find ourselves on the threshold of an inquiry into the outline 

features of one of these great quests, that for furs. We shall for the time 

dismiss the history of the gold hunters, fascinating as it is and tremendous 

as has been its part in human afifairs, with the observation that the Spanish 



and Portuguese were guided almost entirely" in their explorations and policies 
in South America, Mexico, and the southern part of North America by that 
mysterious lure of the precious metals and precious stones which stamped 
out of existence the beautiful and interesting semi-civilizations of Peruvians 
and Aztecs and ultimatley hastened the downfall of Spanish despotism. By 
one of those mysterious allotments of fortune or Providence which constitute 
the turning points of history, the gold quest and discoveries in North America 
were postponed till the middle of the Nineteenth Century, with the result that 
this continent became Anglo-Saxon rather than Spanish, Republican rather than 

What that means in the present great crisis of human history is beyond 
the scope of analysis or imagination. 

The quest for furs, while less dazzling and dramatic than that for gold 
and diamonds, has been more steady and continuous and has probably played 
even a greater part in the affairs of the world. The gold hunt was mainly 
Spanish and Portuguese, and that for furs mainly French, English and Rus- 
sian, while the Americans, latest to arrive, have been distributed in both fields. 
And, in fact, we must avoid national generalizations in such a view as this. 
None of the people of Europe or America have shown themselves indifferent 
to the attractions of either furs, gold, or gems. 


The first great market for furs was China, and the Russians were first 
to enter it. The crew of the ill-fated and heroic Russian explorer, Vitus 
Behring, beleaguered on the desolate island which bears his name and where 
he died, discovered the sea otter skins, and when they escaped from their rocky 
prison, they conveyed many of these furs with them to Avatcha Bay, and thus 
the conception of the great fur trade on the Pacific was first formed. In 1771 
a Pole, Maurice de Benyowski, sailed from Kamchatka with the first regular 
cargo of furs, to Canton. The Mandarins of China were eager to secure furs 
as symbols of rank and wealth, and the Canton market speedily became the 
entrepot for the adventurers of all nations, East and West. 

In 1776, the very year of the Declaration of Independence, that Columbus 
of Eighteenth Century England, James Cook, started on his inter-oceanic 
voyages across the water of two hemispheres. In the course of it he passed 
up the coast of Oregon and Alaska and into the Arctic Ocean. By another 
of those mysterious dispensations of Providence, there was on one of Cook's 
ships an American sailor, John Ledyard, and thereby hangs a tale. 

For this keen and inquisitive Yankee, along with others of the crew, 
found and preserved for their own comfort, sea-otter skins from the Alaska 
islands. Reaching Canton, they discovered that there was a great demand for 
these furs, and they sold them at a great profit. This experience planted in 
the enterprising Ledyard the idea of encouraging his countrymen to visit the 
western coast in search of furs. When Ledyard reached America he came in 
touch with JeflFerson and other Americans, and indirectly there sprung from 
this course of events, the fitting out at Boston of the "Lady Washington" and 


"Columbia Rediviva," in command of Robert Gray and John Kendrick, to 
whom we owe the discovery of the Columbia River, and the strongest link in 
the chain of America's claim to Oregon. Indirectly, also, Jefferson was led 
on to the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. As a 
result of these beginnings by Russians and English the maritime fur trade 
had reached large proportions and yielded great profits by the opening of the 
Nineteenth Century. The last decades of the Eighteenth Century were fairly 
redolent with the fragrance, the romance, of the sea. 

These were the years when the United States, just sprung, with the fire 
and hope of a new Era, from the arms of Liberty, was entering the lists of com- 
merce against the nations of the old world. Those were the days of the sail 
ships, and the hard-visaged skippers of Nantucket and Gloucester, and Boston, 
and Newport were circumnavigating the globe and making the silks and nan- 
keens and toys and fragrant woods and spices of the Orient the household 
treasures, to become later the heirlooms of many of the subsequent "first fami- 
lies" of New England. 

One of those Yankee barks would load up at Boston or Nantucket with 
trinkets and hatchets and tobacco and rum, and round the foaming barriers 
of Cape Horn and up the South American and Mexican coasts, sliding through 
the tropics, and then creeping along the California and Oregon shores, to pause 
for a season's trade in the mouth of the Columbia or at Nootka, or even way 
up North to Queen Charlotte's Sound or Dixon Entrance or Cook's Inlet, there 
to exchange the cargo for one of sea-otter or seal skins, battling often with 
waves and sometimes with treacherous savages, as the fate of the "Tonquin" 
and the "Boston" proved only too truly. Then, with Stars and Stripes flying 
exultantly, the ship would square away for Canton or Macao, where the furs 
would go out and the silks and teas and sandal wood and spices would go in, 
and then away around the Cape of Good Hope for home. Such was the great 
three years' round-up of the "Seven Seas." The glory and fascination and the 
peril of the ocean was in it, and sometimes its profits. What with savages 
and storm and scurvy and fluctuating markets and caprices of politics and 
world wars, some have said that not even the huge percentages of gain were 
adequate compensation. 


Yet those percentages were large enough to tempt an ever-increasing 
number of merchants and adventurers. 

Robert Gray once got for an axe a quantity of furs on Puget Sound that 
were worth $8,000 in the Canton market. Dixon reports that in 1786 and 1787 
there were sold in Canton five thousand eight hundred sea-otter skins for 
$160,700. Sturgis relates that he had collected as high as six thousand skins of 
fine quality in a single voyage, and that on one day he got five hundred and 
sixty of the very best. In one case he knew a capital of $50,000 to yield a 
gross income of $284,000. 

But great as were the profits and important as were the historical bearings 
of the maritime fur trade, the continental trade became a yet more potent factor 
in the making of American history. 


During the years long prior to the growth of the fur trade on the Pacific 
Coast, there had been initiated upon the Mississippi and St. Lawrence and the 
Great Lakes the great companies whose agency in the quest for furs was to 
play a great part in the history of the Pacific Coast. These traders for the 
sea-otter and the seal on our western shore represented a sort of free-for-all 
rush to new fields and new markets without any special moneyed interests in 
the lead. But the situation in Louisiana and Canada was radically different. 
Great operators, foreshadowings of the monopolies of the Nineteenth Century, 
had come into existence long before the American Revolution. As far back 
as the beginning of the Sixteenth Century De Moots, Pontgrave, Champlain, 
and other great French explorers had secured monopolies on :he fur trade from 
Louis XIII and his minister, Richelieu. Later La Salle, Hennepin, DTberville 
and others had the same advantages. The St. Lawrence, the Great Lakes, 
and the upper Mississippi were the great "preserve" of these concessionaires. 
The English and their American colonists set themselves in battle array against 
the monopolistic Bourbon methods of handling the vast domain which the 
genius and enterprise of De Monts and Champlain had won for France, with 
the result that upon the heights of Abraham the Fleur-de-Lis was lowered 
before the Cross of St. George, and North America became English instead 
of Gallic, and one of the world's milestones was set for good. Then, by one 
of those beautiful ironies of history which baffle all prescience, victorious Britain 
violated the principles of her own conquest and adopted the methods of Bourbon 
tyranny and monopoly, with the result that another milestone was set on the 
highway of liberty and the new continent became American instead of European. 
But out of the struggles of that century, French, English and American, 
out of the final distribution of territory, by which England retained Canada 
and with it a large French and Indian population, mingled with English and 
Scotch, out of these curious comminglings, economic, commercial, political, 
religious, and ethnic, grew the great English fur companies, whose history was 
largely wrought out on the shores of the Columbia, and from whose juxtapo- 
sition with the American state-builder the romance and epic grandeur of the 
history of the River largely comes. 

Many enterprises were started by the French and English in the Seven- 
teenth Century, but the "Hudson's Bay Company" became the Goliath of them 
all. The first charter of this gigantic organization was granted in 1670 by 
Charles II to Prince Rupert and seventeen others, with a capital stock of ten 
thousand five hundred pounds. From this small beginning the profits were so 
great that, notwithstanding the loss of two hundred thousand pounds from the 
French wars during the latter part of the century, the company declared 
dividends of from twenty-five to fifty per cent. 

The field of operations was gradually extended from the southeastern 
regions contiguous to Hudson Bay, until it embraced the vast and dreary 
expanses of snowy prairie traversed by the Saskatchewan, the Athabasca, the 
Peace, and finally the Mackenzie. Many of the greatest expeditions by land 
under British auspices which resulted in great geographical discoveries were 
primarily designed for the expansion of the fur trade. 


Just at the critical moment, both for the great Canadian Fur Company, as 
■well as for discovery and acquisition in the region of the Columbia, a most 
important and remarkable champion entered the lists. This was the "North 
West Fur Company" of Montreal. It was one of the legitimate consequences 
xjf the treaty of Paris in 1763, ceding Canada to Great Britain. The French 
in Canada became British subjects by that treaty, and many of them had exten- 
sive interests as well as experience in the fur business. Furthermore, a number 
of Scotchmen of great enterprise and intelligence betook themselves to Canada, 
eager to partake of the boundless opportunities offered by the new shuffle of 
the cards. These Scotchmen and Frenchmen became natural partners in the 
foundation of enterprises independent of the Hudson's Bay monopoly. In 1783 
a group of the boldest and most energetic of these active spirits, of whom the 
leaders were McGillivray, McTavish, Benjamin and Joseph Frobisher, Reche- 
bleve, Thain, and Frazer, united in the formation of the North-West Fur Com- 
pany. Bitter rivalry soon arose between the new company and the old 
monopoly. Following the usual history of special privilege, the old company, 
which had now been in existence one hundred and thirteen years, had learned 
to depend more on privilege than on enterprise, and had become somewhat 
degenerate. The North-Westers "rustled" for new business in new regions. 
In 1789 Alexander Mackenzie, one of the North-Westers, made his way with 
incredible hardship down the river which bears his name to the Frozen Ocean. 
A few years later he made the first journey to the shore of the Pacific, com- 
memorating his course by painting on a rock on the shore of Cascade Inlet, 
■northeast of Vancouver Island, these words: "Alexander Mackenzie, from 
Canada, by land, the twenty-second of July, one thousand seven hundred and 

As a result of the new undertakings set on foot by the North- Westers and 
the re-awakened Hudson's Bay Company, both companies entered the Columbia 
Valley. The struggle for possession of Oregon between the English and 
American fur companies and their governments was on. In the Summer of 1807 
and several times later David Thompson of the North West Company crossed the 
continental divide by the Athabasca Pass in lat. 52° 25'. The North- Westers had 
heard of the Astor enterprise in New York and realized that they must be up and 
doing if they would control the land of the Oregon. Although the character 
of soil, climate, and productions of the Columbia Valley was but imperfectly 
known, enough information had been derived from Lewis and Clark, and from 
•ocean discoveries, to make it plain that the Columbia furnished the most con- 
venient access to the interior from the sea, and that its numerous tributaries 
furnished a network of boatable waters unequalled on the western slope, while 
there was every reason to suppose that its forests abounded in fur-bearing ani- 
mals and that its climate would admit of much longer seasons of work than was 
possible in the biting winters of the Athabasca. It became vital to the conti- 
nental magnitude of the designs of the Canadian companies that they control 

For greater topical clearness we will anticipate a little at this point and 
state that after several years of intense rivalry it became plain to the British 


Parliament that it was suicidal to allow a policy of division in the face of a 
common enemy. Hence in 1821, by act of Parliament, the two companies were 
reorganized and united under a charter which was to last twenty-one years (and 
as a matter of fact was renewed at the end of that time), and under the pro- 
visions of which the North-Westers were to have equal shares in both stock 
and offices, though the name of the Hudson's Bay Company, was retained. It 
will be remembered therefore, that up to the year 1821, the two great Canadian 
companies were distinct, and that during that time the North- West Company 
was much the more active and aggressive in the Columbia Valley, but that after 
that date the entire force of the Canadian companies was combined under the 
name of the old monopoly. But, however bitter the first enmity of the Cana- 
dian rivals, they agreed on the general proposition that the Americans must be 
checkmated, and during the score of years prior to their coalition they were 
seizing the pivotal points of the Oregon country. During the next two decades 
they created a vast network of forts and stations, and reduced the country con- 
tiguous to the river and its tributaries to a system so elaborate and interesting 
as to be worthy of extended study. We can sketch only its more general fea- 
tures. And the more perfectly to understand them, we must arrest here the 
story of the great Canadian monopoly and bring up the movement of the Amer- 
ican fur companies. 

It may be noted, first of all, that by reason of the quicker colonization and 
settlement and consequent establishment of agriculture and other arts pertain- 
ing to home life, the region of the United States east of the Mississippi never 
became the natural habitat of the trapper and fur trader to anything like the 
degree of Canada and the western part of our own land. Nevertheless exten- 
sive fur interests grew up on the Mississippi during the French regime, and 
in 1763-64 August and Pierre Chouteau located a trading post on the present 
site of St. Louis, and the fascinating history of that great capital began. 


Most of the American trading companies confined their operations to the 
east side of the Rocky Mountains. But the Missouri Fur Company of St. 
Louis, composed of a miscellaneous group of Americans and Hispano-Gallo- 
Americans, under the presidency of Manuel Lisa, a bold and enterprising 
Spaniard, took a step over the crest of the mountains and established the first 
trading post upon the waters of the Columbia. This was in 1809. Andrew 
Henr}^ one of the partners of the aforesaid company, crossed the mountains 
in that year and a year later built a fort on a branch of the Snake River. This 
seems to have been on what subsequently became known as Henry's River. It 
was in one of the wildest and grandest regions of all that wild, grand section 
of the Snake River. Henry's River drains the north side of the Three Tetons, 
while the south branch, known afterwards as Lewis and finally as Snake 
River, drains the south of that group of mountains. Henry must be remem- 
bered as the first American and the first white man recorded in history who 
built any structure upon Snake River, and the year was 1810. Both Henry 
and his company had hopes of accomplishing great things in the way of the 
fur trade in that very favorable region. But the next year the Indians were 


so threatening that the fort was forsaken and the party returned to the Mis- 
souri. When the Hunt party in the Fall of 1811 sought refuge at this point, 
they found only a group of abandoned huts, with no provision or equipment 
of which they could make any use. 

But though Henry's Fort was but a transient matter, his American coun- 
trymen were beginning to press through the open gateways of both mountain 
and sea. In the early part of 1809 the Winship brothers of Boston, together 
with several other keen-sighted Yankees, formed a project for a definite post 
on the Columbia River, proposing to reach their destination by ship. Accord- 
ingly they fitted out an old vessel known as the "Albatross," with Nathan Win- 
ship as captain, William Gale as captain's assistant, and William Smith as first 
mate. Captain Gale kept a journal of the entire enterprise, and it is one of the 
most interesting and valuable of the many ship records of the Northwestern 

Setting sail with a crew of twenty-two men and an excellent supply of 
stores and ammunition, and an abundance of tools and hardware for erecting 
needful buildings, the "Albatross" left Boston in the Summer of 1809. After 
a slow and tedious, but very healthful and comfortable voyage, stopping at the 
Hawaiian Islands on the route, the "Albatross" reached the mouth of the Col- 
umbia River on May 26, 1810. Many American and other ships had entered 
the mouth of the river prior to that date, but so far as known none had ascended 
any considerable distance. Apparently Gray and Broughton were the only 
shipmasters who had ascended above the wide expanse now known as Gray's 
Bay, while the Lewis and Clark Expedition contained the only white men who 
had seen the river above tidewater. The Winship enterprise may be regarded 
with great interest, therefore, as the first real attempt to plant a permanent estab- 
ment on the banks of the river. 

Winship and his companions spent some days in careful examination of the 
river banks and as a result of their search they decided on a strip of valley land 
formed by a narrowing of the river on the north and an indentation of the 
mountain on the south. This pleasant strip of fertile land is located on the 
south bank of the lordly stream, and its lower end is about forty-five miles 
from the ocean. Being partially covered with a beautiful grove of oak trees, 
the first to be seen on the ascent of the river, the place received the name of 
Oak Point. It may be noted that this name was subsequently transferred to a 
promontory nearly opposite on the north bank, and this circumstance has led 
many to locate erroneously the site of the first buildings designed for perma- 
nent use on the banks of the Columbia. And such these were, for the Lewis 
and Clark structures at what they called Fort Clatsop, erected four and a half 
years earlier, were meant only for a winter's use. But the Winship party had 
glowing visions of a great emporium of the fur trade, another Montreal or 
St. Louis, to inaugurate a new era for their country and themselves. They 
designed paying the Indians for their lands, and in every way treating them 
justly. They seem in short to have had a very high conception of the dignity 
and worth of their enterprise. They were worthy of the highest success, and the 
student of today cannot but grieve that their high hopes were dashed with 


Tying the "Albatross" to the bank on June 4th, they entered at once with 
great energy on the task of felling trees, rearing a large log house, clearing a 
garden spot, in which they at once. began the planting of seeds, and getting 
ready to trade with the natives. But within four days the river began to rise 
rapidly, and the busy fort-builders perceived to their dismay that they had 
located on land subject to inundation. All the work thus far done went for 
naught, and they pulled their fort to pieces and floated the logs down stream 
a quarter of a mile to a higher place. There they resumed their buildings with 
redoubled energy. But within a week a much more dangerous situation, and this 
time permanently, arrested their grand project. This time it was the very men 
toward whom they had entertained such just and benevolent designs, the 
Indians, who thwarted their plans. For, as Captain Gale narrates in a most 
entertaining manner, a large body of Chinooks and Cheheeles, armed with bows 
and arrows, and some muskets, made their appearance, announcing that they 
were on their way to war against the Culaworth tribe who had killed one of 
their chiefs a year before. But the next day the Indians, massing themselves 
about the whites, gave such plain indications that the previous declaration was 
a pretense, that the party hastily got into a position of defence. Their cannon 
on board the "Albatross" had already been loaded in anticipation of emergen- 
cies, and so plain was it that they could make a deadly defence that the threat- 
ened attack did not come. A long "pow wow" ensued instead, and the Chinooks 
insisted that the builders must select a site lower down the river. After due 
consideration the party decided that any determined opposition by the Indians 
would so impair their enterprise, even though they might be able to defend 
themselves, that it would be best to seek a new location. Accordingly they 
reloaded their effects, dropped down the river, and finally decided to make a 
voyage down the California coast and return the next year. Return they did, 
but by that time the next year the Pacific Fur Company had already located at 
Astoria, the first permanent American settlement, and the Winship enterprise 
faded away. That the design of the Winships was not at all chimerical is ap- 
parent from the fact that within twenty years the Hudson's Bay Company had . 
made of Vancouver, sixty miles farther up the river, the very kind of a trading 
entrepot of which the Winships had dreamed. Their dream was reasonable, 
but the time and place were unpropitious. 

A quotation from Captain Gale's journal will give a conception of his 
feelings : 

"June 12th. — The ship dropped further down the river, and it was now 
determined to abandon all attempts to force a settlement. We have taken off 
the goats and hogs which were left on shore for the use of the settlement, and 
thus we have to abandon the business, after having, with great difficulty and 
labor, got about forty-five miles above Cape Disappointment ; and with great 
trouble began to clear the land and build a house a second time, after cutting 
timber enough to finish nearly one-half, and having two of our hands disabled 
in the work. It is, indeed, cutting to be obliged to knuckle to those whom you 
have not the least fear of, but whom, from motives of prudence, you are obliged 
to treat with forbearance. What can be more disagreeable than to sit at the 
table with a number of these rascally chiefs, who while they supply their greedy 


;mouths with your food with one hand, their bloods boil within them to cut your 
throat with the other, without the least provocation." 

On the way out of the river Captain Winship learned that the Chinooks 
•designed capturing his vessel, and would doubtless have done so, had not his 
-vigilance prevented. 


While the crew of the "Albatross" were engaged in these adventures, the 
largest American fur company yet formed was getting ready to effect a lodg- 
anent on the shores of the Columbia. This was the Pacific Fur Company. 
John Jacob Astor was the founder of this enterprise. Though unfortunate in 
almost every feature of its history and its final outcome, this company had a 
magnificent conception, a royal grandeur of opportunity, and it possessed also 
the felicity, shared by no one of its predecessors, of the genius of a great lit- 
•erary star to illuminate its records. To Washington Irving it owes much of 
its fame. Yet the commercial genius of Astor could not prevent errors of 
judgment by the management any more than the literary genius of Irving was 
able to conceal their errors, or the genius of American liberty able to order 
•events so as to prevent victory for a time by the "Britishers." As we view the 
history in the large it may be that we shall conclude that the British triumph 
at first was the best introduction to American triumph in the end. 

John Jacob Astor may, perhaps, be justly regarded as the first of the great 
promoters or financial magnates who have made the United States the world's 
El Dorado. Coming from Germany to this land of opportunity after the close 
of the Revolutionary war, he soon manifested that keen intuition in money 
matters, as well as intense devotion to accumulation, which has led to the colos- 
sal fortunes of his own descendants and of the other multimillionaires of this 
age. Having made quite a fortune by transporting furs to London, Mr. Astor 
turned to larger fields. With his broad and keen geographical and commer- 
cial insight, he could readily grasp the same fact which the North-Westers of 
Montreal were considering, that the Columbia River might well become the 
key to an international fur trade, as well as a strategic point for American ex- 
pansion westward. He made overtures to the North- Westers for a partnership, 
but they declined. Then he determined to be the chief manager, and to asso- 
ciate individual Americans and Canadians with himself. With the promptitude 
of the skilful general, he proceeded to form his company and make his plan of 
campaign in time to anticipate the apparent designs of the active Canadians. 
They saw, as well as Astor did, the magnitude of the stake and at once made ready 
to play their part. For, as already noted, David Thompson crossed the Rockies 
by the Athabasca Pass in 1807 and on spent the Winter at Lake Windermere 
on the Columbia River, and in the Summer of 1811 reached Astoria, only to 
find the Astor Company already established there. It should be especially noted 
that the Thompson party was the first to descend the river from near its source 
to the ocean, although of course Lewis and Clark had anticipated them on the 
portion below the junction of the Snake with the main river. 

Mr. Astor's plans provided for an expedition by sea and one by land. The 
first was to convey stores and equipment for founding and defending the pro- 


posed capital of the empire of the fur traders. The organization of Mr. Astor's 
company provided that there should be a capital stock of a hundred shares, of 
which he should hold half and his associates half. Mr. Astor was to furnish 
the money, though not to exceed four hundred thousand dollars, and was to. 
bear all losses for five years. The term of the association was fixed at twenty 
years though with the privilege of dissolving it in five years if it proved un- 
profitable. The general plan and the details of the expedition had been decided 
upon by the master mind of the founder with statesman-like ability. It comes,, 
therefore, as a surprise to the reader that Mr. Astor should have made a capital 
mistake at the very beginning of his undertaking. This mistake was in the 
selection of his associates and the captains of some of his ships. Of the part- 
ners, five were Americans and five were Canadians. Two only of the Ameri- 
cans remained with the company long enough to have any determining influ- 
ence on its policies. Take the fact that the majority of the active partners and 
almost all the clerks, trappers, and other employes of the company were Cana- 
dians, and put it beside the other fact that war was imminent with Great Britain 
and did actually break out within two years, and the dangerous nature of the 
situation can be seen. Of the ship captains, the first one. Captain Jonathan 
Thorn of the "Tonquin," was a man of such overbearing and obstinate nature 
that disaster seemed to be fairly invited by placing him in such a vitally respon- 
sible position. The captain of the second ship, the "Beaver," was Cornelius 
Sowles, and he seems to have been as timid and irresolute as Captain Thorn was 
bold and implacable. Both lacked judgment. It was probably natural that Mr. 
Astor, having had his main prior experience as a fur dealer in connection with 
the Canadians centering at Montreal, should have looked in that direction for 
associates. But inasmuch as war between England and the United States 
seemed a practical certainty it was a great error, in founding a vast enterprise 
in remote regions whose ownership was not yet definitely recognized, to share 
with citizens of Great Britain the determination of the important issues of the 
enterprise. It would have saved Mr. Astor great loss and chagrin if he had 
observed the maxim: "Put none but Americans on guard." As to the captains 
of the two vessels, that was an error that any one might have made. Yet for a 
man of Astor's exceptional ability and shrewdness to err so conspicuously in 
judging the character of the men appointed to such important places seems 
indeed strange. 

To these facts in regard to the personnel of the partners, the captains, and 
the force, must be added two others, i. e., war and shipwreck. The combina- 
tion of all these conditions made the history of the Astoria enterprise what it 
was. Yet, with all of its adversity, this was one of the best conceived, and, in 
most of its details, the best equipped and executed of all the great enterprises 
which have appeared in the commercial history of our country. As an element 
in the development of the land of the Oregon, it must be accorded the first 
place after the period of discovery. 

The "Tonquin" left New York on September 6, 1810. She carried a fine 
equipment of all things needed for founding the proposed emporium. She was 
manned by a crew of twenty-one and conveyed members of the fur-trading 
force to the number of thirty-three. Stopping at the Sandwich Islands, an 


added force of twenty- four natives was taken aboard. At various times on the 
journey the rigid ideas of naval discipHne and the imperious temper of Captain 
Thorn came near producing mutiny among the partners and clerks. When 
the "Tonquin" hove to, off the mouth of the Columbia, on March 22, 1811, the 
eager voyagers saw little to attract. The Avind was blowing in heavy squalls, 
and the sea ran high. Nevertheless the hard-hearted captain issued orders to 
the first mate. Fox, with a boat's crew of four men, to go into the foaming 
waves and sound the channel. The boat was insufficinetly provided, and it 
seemed scarcely short of murder to despatch a crew under such circumstances. 
But the tyrannical captain would listen to no remonstrances, and the poor little 
boat Vvent tossing over the billows on her forlorn hope. Such indeed it proved 
to be, for neither boat nor any one of the crew waS ever heard of again. This 
was a wholly unnecessary sacrifice of life, for the "Tonquin" was in no danger, 
and time could just as well have been taken for more propitious weather. 

The next day, the wind and sea having abated, the "Tonquin" drew near 
the dreaded bar, but, no entrance that satisfied the captain appearing, the ship 
again stood off to spend the night in deep water. On the next day, the 24th, 
the wind fell and a serene sky seemed to invite another attempt. The pinnace 
in command of Mr. Aikin, with two white men and two Kanakas, was sent out 
to find the channel. Following the pinnace the ship moved in so rapidly under 
a freshening breeze that she passed the pinnace, the unfortunate men on board 
finding it impossible to effect an entrance and being borne by the refluent cur- 
rent into the mad surge where ocean tide and outflowing river met in foamy 
strife. So the pinnace disappeared. But meanwhile the crew had all their 
energies engaged to save the "Tonquin." For the wind failed at the critical 
moment and the ship struck the sands with violence. Night came on. Had the 
men been classically trained (as in fact Franchere was) they might have re- 
membered Virgil, Ponto nox incubat atra. But they had not time for classical 
or other quotations. Hastily dropping the anchors they lay to in the midst of 
the tumult of waters, in that worst of situations, on an unknown coast in the 
dark and in storm. But as Franchere expresses it. Providence came to their 
succor, and the tide flooding and the wind rising, they weighed the anchors, and 
in spite of the obscurity of the night, they gained a safe harbor in a little cove 
inside of Cape Disappointment, apparently just abreast of the present town of 

Thus the "Tonquin" was saved, and with the light of morning it could be 
seen that she was fairly within the bar. Natives soon made their appearance, 
desirous of trading beaver-skins. But the crew were in no mood for commerce 
while any hope existed for finding the lost sailors. Taking a course toward 
the shore by what must have been nearly the present route from Ilwaco to Long 
Beach, the captain and a party with him. began a search and soon found 
Weeks, one of the crew of the pinnace. He was stark naked and suffering 
intensely from the cold. As soon as sufficiently revived he narrated the loss of 
the pinnace in the breakers, the death of three of the crew, and the casting of 
himself and one of the Kanakas upon the beach. The point where they were 
cast would seem to have been near the present location of the life saving sta- 


The two survivors of the ill-fated pinnace having been revived, the party- 
returned to the "Tonquin," which was now riding safely at anchor in the bay 
on the north side of the river, named Baker's Bay by Broughton nineteen years 
before. Joy for their own escape from such imminent perils was mingled with 
melancholy at the loss of their eight companions of the two boats, and with the 
melancholy there was a sense of bitterness toward the captain, who was to 
blame, at least for the loss of the small boat. 

But now the new land was all before them where to choose, and since 
Captain Thorn was in great haste to depart and begin his trading cruise along 
the coast, the partners on the "Tonquin," Messrs. McKay, McDougal, David 
Stuart, and Robert Stuart, decided somewhat hurriedly to locate at the point 
which had received from Lieutenant Broughton the name of Point George.- 
Franchere gives a pleasant picture of the beauty of the trees and sky, and the- 
surprise of the party to find that, though it was only the 12th of April when 
they set to work upon the great trees which covered the site of their chosen 
capital, yet Spring was already far advanced. They did not then understand 
the effect of the Japan current upon the Pacific Coast climate. 

An incident of special interest soon after landing was the appearance on 
June 15th of two strange Indians, a man and a woman, bearing a letter ad- 
dressed to Mr. John Stuart, Fort Estekatadene, New Caledonia. These two 
Indians wore long robes of dressed deerskins with leggings and moccasins more 
like the Indians of the Rocky Mountains. They could not understand the 
speech of the Astoria Indians nor of any of the mixture of dialects which the 
white men tried on them, until one of the Canadian clerks addressed them in 
the Knisteneaux language with which they seemed to be partially familiar. 
After several days of stay at the fort the two wandering Indians succeeded in 
making it clear to the traders that they had been sent out by a clerk named 
Finnan McDonald of the North-West Fur Company from a fort which that 
company had just established on the Spokane River. They said that they had 
lost their way and in consequence had descended the Tacousah-Tessah, which. 
the whites supposed to be their name for the Columbia, though the general im- 
pression among the Indians is that Tacousah-Tessah, or Tacoutche-Tesse, sig- 
nified Frazer River. From the revelation gradually drawn from these two 
Indians (and the surprising discovery was made that they were both women) 
the very important conclusion was drawn that the North-West Fur Company- 
was already prepared to contest with the Astor Company the possession of the 
river. The peculiar feature of the situation was that the most of the Astoria 
Company were Canadian and British by blood and sympathy, and hence were 
very likely to fraternize with the Montreal traders. 

However, the Astorians decided to send an expedition into the interior to- 
verify the story given by the two Indian women, but, just as they were ready 
to go, a large canoe with the British flag floating from her stern appeared, 
from which, when it had reached the landing, there leaped ashore an active, 
well-dressed man w-ho introduced himself as David Thompson, of the North- 
West Company. This was the same man, the reader will remember, who had 
crossed the Rocky Mountains the year before, had wintered near the head of 
the river, and had then descended it, seeking a location for the Columbia River- 


emporium of the Canadian Company. But he was too late. It was quite 
strange by what narrow margins on several occasions the British failed to fore- 
stall the Yankees. 

Oh July 23d the delayed expedition of the Astorians set forth far to the 
interior, and as a result of their investigations, David Stuart, in charge of the 
party, began the erection of a trading house at the mouth of the Okanogan, five 
hundred and forty miles above Astoria. It was on September 2, 1811, that this 
post was begun, and hence Fort Okanogan may be regarded as the first Ameri- 
can establishment in the present state of Washington. It was antedated a few 
months by the post of the North-West Company at the entrance of the Little 
Spokane into the Spokane, near the present site of the city of Spokane. 

While the sea-faring contingent of the Astor Company were thus estab- 
lishing themselves at Astoria and Okanogan and were making the beginnings- 
of successful trade with the natives both on the seashore and inland, the land 
party was making its slow and toilsome way from St. Louis to the Columbia 
River. This was the first party following Lewis and Clark to cross the con- 
tinent, though, as already stated, Andrew Henry of the Missouri Fur Company 
had crossed the Great Divide to the headwaters of Snake River in 1809. 

The land division made its journey, or started to, in 1811, but as a matter 
of fact the party did not reach Asto'ria till the opening of 1812. The story of 
this strenuous journey is told in Irving's most fascinating style in his Astoria, 
and no student of Pacific Coast history should fail to read that volume. Per- 
haps few have failed. The commander of the party was Wilson Price Hunt,, 
who was the second partner in rank to John Jacob Astor. 

With Hunt were associated four other partners of the expedition. Crooks, 
McKenzie, Miller, and McClellan. Accompanying the party were two English 
naturalists, Bradbury and Nuttall, who did the first scientific study of the Rocky 
Mountain region. There were forty Canadian voyageurs whose duties con- 
sisted in rowing, transporting, cooking, and general drudgery. The remaining 
twelve of the party consisted of a group of American hunters and trappers, the 
leader of whom was a Virginian named John Day. The company was in all 
respects fitted out most bountifully. 

There were at that time two great classes of trappers. The first and most 
numerous were the Canadian voyageurs. These were mainly of French descent,, 
many of them being half-breeds. Almost amphibious by nature and training, 
gay and amiable in disposition, with true French vivacity and ingenuity, gliding 
over every harsh experience with laugh and song, possessed of quick sympathies 
and humane instincts which enabled them to readily find the best side of the 
Indians, these French voyageurs constituted a most interesting as well as indis- 
pensable class in the trapper's business. 


The free trappers were an entirely different class of men. They were usu- 
ally American by birth, Virginia and Kentucky being the homes of most of 
them. Patient and indefatigable in their work of trapping, yet when on their 
annual trip to the towns given to wild dissipation and savage revellings, indif- 


ferent to sympathy or company, harsh and cruel to the Indians, bold and over- 
bearing, with blood always in their eyes, thunder in their voices, and guns in 
their hands, yet underneath all of their harsh exterior having noble hearts, 
could they but be reached, these now vanished trappers have gone to a place in 
-history alongside of the old Spartans and the followers of Pizarro and Cortez 
in Spanish conquest. 

Of the many adventures of the Hunt party on the journey up the Missouri, 
we cannot speak. For some reason, although taking a more direct route than 
did Lewis and Clark, and having, to all appearance, a better equipped party, 
they did not make so good time. Guided by Indians, they crossed chain after 
chain of mountains, supposing each to be the summit, only to find another yet 
to succeed. At last on the 15th of September, they stood upon a lofty eminence 
■over which they could gaze both eastward and westward. Scanning attentively 
the western horizon, the guide pointed out three shining peaks, whose bases, he 
told them, were touched by a tributary of the Columbia River. These peaks 
.are now known as the Three Tetons. 

And now the party thus late in the season was starting down the long 
western slope over an unknown region. 

For Lewis and Clark, it will be remembered, had gone far to the north 
and had descended upon the Clearwater and had made much better time than 
did the Hunt party. It is worth noting, however, that the route taken by the 
Hunt party was that which later became in most of its course the great Oregon 
Emigrant Trail down Snake River. 

The Hunt party met with many hardships. In the vicinity of the present 
Twin Falls, they were tantalized by seeing the river rushing, inaccessible, 
through volcanic sluiceways, and with parched lips were obliged to lie down 
for the night within sound of its angry ravings but without a drop to drink. 
The Scotchman dubbed this place "Caldron Linn," the Canadians called it the 
""Devil's Scuttle-hole," and to the river they gave the name, "La Riviere Mau- 
dite Enragee" (The Accursed Mad River). It was already winter time when the 
party reached the point on Snake River near Huntington, crossed at present by 
the Union Pacific Railroad. They were in extremities for food and could find 
few Indians from whom to get either subsistence or information. Being at the 
head of the great Snake River Canyon, above the Seven Devils of the present 
nomenclature, they found themselves in such a tangle of forbidding crags and 
cataracts as to make progress impossible. A small division, however, headed 
l^y McKenzie, one of the partners and the strongest and most resourceful of 
all, did make their way down the canyon, and across to the Clearwater, and 
thence to navigable water on the Snake, whence, with boats constructed on the 
river bank they made their way down the Snake and Columbia to Astoria, five 
"hundred miles distant, arriving a month or more in advance of the main party. 

This main party, meanwhile, under Hunt's leadership but with no guid- 
ance, was floundering along the Boise and the Weiser, to and fro, in hope of 
salvation from threatening freezing and famine. 

At last they crossed Snake River and struck westward across the highlands 
of Burnt River and Powder River. They must have pursued nearly the course 
•of the present O.-W. R. R. and the State Highway through the Baker Valley. 


•On New Year's Day they were in the beautiful Grande Ronde Valley. Attrac- 
tive as it now is, it must have seemed trebly so to those famished wanderers. 
For the snows in which they had been floundering ceased, the genial sun of a 
new year broke forth, and, best of all, they found many lodges of friendly 
Indians, from whom they procured food and horses. Thus the expedition was 
saved. The mercurial French Canadians, the voyageurs and coureurs des bois, 
with Gallic enthusiasm celebrated New Year's Day with dance and song, with 
feasts of dog meat, roasted, boiled, and fricasseed, and thus New Year's Day, 
1812, was celebrated by the first party of trappers in eastern Oregon. 

Another toilsome stage across the snowy range between Grande Ronde and 
the Umatilla was necessary before they reached the spring-like and balmy airs 
of the chinook-swept plain of that magnificent valley of the Umatilla. Here 
they found a large and well equipped body of the Tushepaw Indians. These 
Indians had axes, kettles, and other implements significant of trade with the 
whites. Moreover they gave their eager questioners to understand that the 
Great River was only two days' distant and that a small party of white men had 
just descended it. Being now relieved of anxiety about McKenzie and his 
party, Hunt felt that their dangers were mainly over, and with well filled stom- 
achs and packs they set forth across the pleasant prairie and within two days, 
having reached a point presumably near the present Umatilla, they beheld with 
overflowing hearts the blue majestic flood, nearly a mile wide, hastening west- 
ward, the Columbia ! Crossing the river into what is now Benton County, 
formerly Yakima, and hence within the scene of our present work, they pro- 
ceeded by land to the Grand Dalles. There they exchanged horses for canoes, 
and with great content and ease after the snow and starvation of the journey 
across the moutains of eastern Oregon, they proceeded gaily down the sweep- 
ing waters of the great river. On February 15, 1812, they rounded Tongue Point 
and close at hand saw the Stars and Stripes floating from the wooden walls of 
the newly christened town of Astoria. As they neared the shore their approach 
was noted, and the whole population came forth to meet them — trappers, sail- 
ors, and Indians. Foremost in the crowd were the advance guard, McKenzie 
and his men, who had arrived a month before and who, having left the main 
party almost at death's door in the deserts of the Snake River, held no confident 
hope that they would ever see them again. The Canadians with their Gallic 
vivacity rushed into each others arms like so many school girls, while even the 
stiff- jawed Scotchman and the nonchalant Americans gave themselves up to 
the gladness of the hour. 

The next two or three days were mainly devoted to eating and story telling. 

Several of this party had been lost by drowning or starvation, and six sick 
men, under the leadership of Ramsay Crooks and John Day, had been left on 
Snake River, near the mouth of the Weiser. Of their subsequent evil fortunes 
we will make mention later. 

Gen. H. M. Chittenden of Seattle in his invaluable History of the Ameri- 
can Fur-Trade sums up in a masterly way the different stages of the course of 
the Hunt party and of the return journey of a party in command of Crooks and 
Stuart which left Astoria June 29, 1812, and reached St. Louis, April 30, 1813. 
'General Chittenden considers that these two expeditions, that went into Oregon 



under Hunt and out of Oregon under Stuart, practically fixed the Oregon 
Trail and thus made a contribution of much interest to history. In entering. 
Hunt crossed the Rocky Mountains by what became known as Union Pass. It 
was not till 1823 that a small party of hunters belonging to the Rocky Mountain 
Fur Company, led by Etienne Provost and sent out by Andrew Henry, made the 
great discovery of South Pass. To all immigrants or the descendants of such 
the location of the Oregon Trail is one of the great events of history, and hence 
these references to the beginnings of "Trail Making" contain much interest. 

After what might be considered in a general way an auspicious beginning, 
in spite of so much hardship and some disaster, the Pacific Fur Company of 
John Jacob Astor was thus inaugurated both by sea and land. It was the fore- 
most American enterprise in the fur trade, and the causes and manner of its 
downfall, a matter of great chagrin to Americans, and the rise of the great 
British fur companies, the Hudson's Bay and the North-West, constitute one of 
the pivots on which the history of this country turns. The strange manner in 
which the downfall of the American fur trade and the resulting dominance of 
their British rivals were swiftly followed by the supplanting of those same 
great British interests by the American Missionary and American Immigrant, 
composes one of the great dramas of history. 

In 1812 all signs pointed to the complete success of Aster's great enter- 
prise. In May, 1812, the Company's ship "Beaver," arrived from New York, 
loaded with stores and trading equipment, and bringing a considerable addition 
to the force of men. In the following month sixty men were despatched up- 
river, and by them a trading post was located at Spokane and another on the 
Snake River somewhere near the present site of Lewiston, while one section of 
the party went across the mountains and down the Missouri, to convey dis- 
patches to Mr. Astor. 


At this stage of the history of the Astoria enterprise, every aspect was en- 
couraging. The trade in furs on the Spokane, the Okanogan, the Snake, and 
the Coeur d' Alene was excellent, a successful cruise along the coast by the 
"Beaver" seemed sure, and the Indians about the mouth of the river were 
friendly and well disposed. Mr. Astor's great undertaking seemed sure to be 
crowned with success. In the midst of all the signs of hope came tidings of 
dismay. It became known with certainty that the "Tonquin" had been de- 
stroyed. This appalling disaster was related directly to the Astoria Company 
by the only survivor. This was an Indian of the Chehalis tribe whose name is 
given by Irving as Lamazee, by Ross as Lamazu, and by Bancroft as Lamanse. 
He had escaped from the Indians who had held him after the destruction of 
the "Tonquin" and had finally found his way to Astoria, there to tell his tale, 
one of the most sanguinary in the long roll of struggles with the Indians. The 
next great disaster was the wrecking of the Lark, the third of the Company's 
ships from New York. During the same period Mr. Hunt, the partner next 
in rank to Mr. Astor and the one above all who could have acted wisely and 
patriotically in the forthcoming crisis, had gone in the "Beaver" on a trading 
cruise among the Russians of Sitka, and by a most remarkable series of deten- 
tions he had been kept away from Astoria for over a year. 


To cap the climax of misfortunes, the War of 1812 burst upon the knowl- 
edge of the fur traders and seemed to force upon such of the partners as were 
of British nationality the question of theii paramount duty. As a result of the 
crisis, McDougal and McKenzie, although against the wishes of the other part- 
ners present, sold out to the agent of the North- Westers, who had repaired at 
once to Astoria upon knowledge of the declaration of war. Thus the great 
Astoria enterprise was abandoned, and the Stars and Stripes went down and 
the Union Jack went up. Soon after the transfer, the British man of war Rac- 
coon, Captain Black, arrived at Astoria, expecting to have seized the place as 
a rich prize of war. Imagine the disgust of the expectant British mariners to 
discover that the post had already been sold to British subjects, that their long 
journey was useless, and that their hopes of prize money had vanished. 

With the close of the War of 1812 a series of negotiations between the min- 
isters of the two countries took place in regard to the possession of the river, 
by which it was finally decided that Astoria should be restored to the United 
States. Accordingly, on the 6th of October, 1818, the British Commissioners, 
Captain F. Hickey, of his Majesty's ship "Blossom," and J. Keith, representing 
the North-West Fur Company, signed an act of delivery restoring Fort George 
(Astoria) to the United States. Mr. J. B. Prevost, commissioner for the United 
States, signed the act of acceptance. Astoria was once again American prop- 

While the river was now nominally in possession of the United States, it 
was practically under the control of the British fur companies. The Pacific Fur 
Company ceased to operate, and the North- Westers entered upon active work 
both by sea and land in exploring the vast and profitable domain which the mis- 
fortunes of their American rivals, supplemented in a most timely manner by the 
treachery of McDougall and McKenzie, had put within their power. The canny 
Scotchmen, McDougall, McTavish, McKenzie, McDonald, and the various 
other Macs who now guided the plans of the North-Westers, signalized their 
entrance into power by despatching companies to the various pivotal points of 
the great Columbia Basin, the Walla Walla, Yakima, Okanogan, Spokane, and 
Snake Rivers. Two incidents may be related to illustrate the character of the 
people and the conditions of that wilderness period. 


A party of ninety men in ten canoes left Astoria for up-river points on 
April 4, 1814. While passing the mouth of the Yakima, about three hundred 
and fifty miles up the river, the men were surprised to see three canoes putting 
out from shore and to hear a child's voice calling out, "Arretez done! arretez 
done!" Stopping to investigate, they found the Indian wife of Pierre Dorion 
and her children. They had been with the party under command of John Reed 
of the Astor Company. While trapping and hunting, deep in the mountains 
of Snake River, the party had been massacred by Indians. The woman and 
her two boys had alone escaped the massacre. It was the dead of Winter and 
the snows lay deep on the Blue Mountains. But the wife of Dorion found 
shelter in a remote fastness of the mountains, putting up a bark hut for a 
shelter and subsisting on the carcasses of some of her horses. In the Spring 


the pitiful little company of mother and children descended to Walla Walla 
and found there more kindly disposed natives who cared for them and turned 
them over to the protection of the whites. A more thrilling story of suffering 
and heroism than this of Madame Dorion and her children has never come up 
from the chronicles of the wild West. 

Of similar nature was the story of Crooks and Day to which we referred 
-earlier. It will be remembered that the Hunt party had left six sick men in the 
Snake River country. They had little hope of ever seeing them again, but the 
next Summer the party on their way up the Columbia River, saw two wretched 
looking beings, naked and haggard, wandering on the river bank near the mouth 
of the Umatilla. Stopping to investigate, they discovered that these were Day 
and Crooks, the leaders of the party which they had left behind. Their forlorn 
plight was relieved with food and clothes, and, having been taken into the boat, 
they related their dismal tale. It appeared that they had been provided suffi- 
ciently by the Indians to sustain their lives through the Winter. In the Spring 
they had left the Canadians among the Indians, and set forth in the hope of 
reaching the Great River. But having reached The Dalles they had been robbed 
■of rifles and ammunition, stripped of their clothing, and driven forth into the 
wilderness. They were almost at a point of a final surrender to ill fortune when 
they beheld the rescuing boat. So, with joyful hearts, they turned their boat's 
prow to Astoria, which they reached in safety. But poor Day never regained 
his health. His mind was shattered by the hardships of his journey, and he 
soon pined away and died. The barren and rugged shores of the John Day 
River in eastern Oregon take on an added interest in view of the sad story of 
the brave hunter who discovered them, and who wandered in destitution for so 
many days beside them. Strange to say, the four Canadians who remained 
among the Indians were afterwards found alive, though utterly destitute of 
everything. Hence it appears that the loss of life in this difficult journey was 
not great. 

Yet another of the best illustrations of life among the fur traders is the 
story by Alexander Ross of his adventure in the "Eyakema" Valley. Ross was 
first in the employ of the Astor Company and when they sold out to the North- 
Westers he joined the latter. His book, "Fur-traders of the Far West," from 
which this narrative is taken, is one of our best authorities. It is especially 
worthy of note that from the reference to the Pisscows River (Wenatchee) 
the valley "Eyakema," must have been the Kittitas. It is also important to 
note that he refers to it as more or less known to the fur traders, and as not 
having been considered safe. Since this adventure occurred in 1814 we may 
readily infer that those enterprising avant-couriers of civilization had already 
made their way into pretty much all of central Washington. 

The story by Ross is as follows : 

"On reaching the Oakanagan everything was at a dead stand for want of 
packhorses to transport the goods inland, and as no horses were to be got nearer 
than the Eyakema Valley, some two hundred miles southwest, it was resolved 
to proceed thither in quest of a supply : at that place all the Indians were rich in 
horses. The Cayouses, the Nez-Perces, and other war-like tribes, assemble 
every Spring in the Eyakema to lay in a stock of the favourite kamass and 
Pelua, or sweet potatoes, held in high estimation as articles of food among the 


natives. There also the Indians hold their councils, and settle the affairs of 
peace or war for the year; it is, therefore, the great national rendezous, where 
thousands meet, and on such occasions, horses can be got in almost any num- 
ber; but, owing to the vast concourse of mixed tribes, there is always more or 
less risk attending the undertaking. 

"To this place I had been once before during the days of the Pacific Fur 
Company, so it fell to my lot again, although it was well known that the fatal dis- 
asters which more than once took place between those tribes and the whites 
would not have diminished, but rather increased, the danger; yet there was no 
alternative, I must go : so I set off with a small bundle of trading articles, and. 
only three men, Mr. Thomas McKay, a young clerk, and two French Canadians, 
and as no more men could be spared, the two latter took their wives along with, 
them, to aid in driving the horses, for women in these parts are as expert as 
men on horseback. 

"On the fourth night after leaving Oakanagan, Sopa, a friendly neighbor- 
ing chief of the Pisscows tribe, on learning that we were on our way to the 
Eyakemas, despatched two of his men to warn us of our danger, and bring us 
back. The zealous couriers reached our camp late in the night. My men were 
fast asleep ; but there was no sleep for me : I was too anxious, and heard their 
approach. I watched their motions for some time with my gun in my hand, till 
they called out in thier own language, "Samah ! Samah ! Pedcousm, Pedcousm" 
— white men, white men, turn back, turn back, you are all dead men ! It was, 
however, of no use, for we must go at all hazards. I had risked my life there for 
the Americans, I could not now do less for the North-West Company ; so with 
deep regret the friendly couriers left us and returned, and with no less reluc- 
tance we proceeded. The second day after our friends left us, we entered the 
Eyakema Valley — "the Beautiful Eyakema Valley" — so called by the whites. 
But, on the present occasion, there was nothing beautiful or interesting to us; 
for we had scarcely advanced three miles when a camp in the true Mameluke: 
style presented itself; a camp, of which we could see the beginning but not the- 
end! It could not have contained less than 3,000 men, exclusive of women and' 
children, and treble that number of horses. It was a grand and imposing sight 
in the wilderness, covering more than six miles in every direction. Councils, 
root gathering, hunting, horse-racing, foot-racing, gambling, singing, dancing, 
drumming, yelling, and a thousand other things which I cannot mention, were 
going on around us. 

"The din of men, the noise of women, the screaming of children, the tramp- 
ing of horses, and the howling of dogs, was more than can well be described! 
Let the reader picture to himself a great city in an uproar — it will afford some 
idea of our position. In an Indian camp you see life without disguise; the feel- 
ings, the passions, the propensities, as they ebb and flow in the savage breast. 
In this field of savage glory all was motion and commotion ; we advanced 
through groups of men and bands of horses, till we reached the very centre- 
of the camp and there the sight of the chiefs' tents admonished us to dismount 
and pay them our respects, as we depended on them for our protection. 

"Our reception was cool, the chiefs were hostile and sullen, they saluted 
us in no very flattering accents. 'These men are the ones,' said they, 'who kill 
our relations, the people who have caused us to mourn.' And here, for the- 


first time, I regretted we had not taken advice in time, and returned with the 
couriers; for the general aspect of things was against us. It was evident 
we stood on slippery ground: we felt our weakness. In all sudden and unex- 
pected rencontres with hostile Indians, the first impulse is generally a tremor or 
sensation of fear, but that soon wears off; it was so with myself at this mo- 
ment, for after a short interval, I nerved myself to encounter the worst. 

"The moment we dismounted, we were surrounded, and the savages, giving 
two or three war-whoops and yells, drove the animals we had ridden out of our 
sight ; this of itself was a hostile movement. We had to judge from appear- 
ances, and be guided by circumstances. My first care was to try and direct 
their attention to something new, and to get rid of the temptation there was to 
dispose of my goods ; so without a moment's delay, I commenced a trade in 
horses ; but every horse I bought during that and the following day, as well as 
those we had brought with us, were instantly driven out of sight, in the midst 
of yelling and jeering; nevertheless, I continued to trade while an article re- 
mained, putting the best face on things I could, and taking no notice of their 
conduct, as no insult or violence had as yet been offered to ourselves person- 
ally. Two days and nights had now elapsed since our arrival, without food or 
sleep; the Indians refused us the former, our own anxiety deprived us of the 

"During the third day I discovered that the two women were to have been 
either killed or taken from us and made slaves. So surrounded were we for 
miles on every side, that we could not stir unobserved ; yet we had to devise 
some means for their escape, and to get them clear of the camp was a task of no 
ordinary difficulty and danger. In this critical conjuncture, however, something 
had to be done, and that without delay. One of them had a child at the breast, 
which increased the difficulty. To attempt sending them back by the road they 
came, would have been sacrificing them. To attempt an unknown path through 
the rugged mountains, however doubtful the issue, appeared the only prospect 
that held out a glimpse of hope ; therefore to this mode of escape I directed 
their attention. As soon as it was dark, they set out on their forlorn adventure, 
without food, guide or protection, to make their way home under a kind Provi- 
dence ! 

" 'You are to proceed,' said I to them, 'due north, cross the mountains, and 
keep in that direction till you fall on the Pisscows River; take the first canoe 
you find, and proceed with all diligence down to the mouth of it and there await 
our arrival. But if we are not there in four days, you may proceed to Oakan- 
agan, and tell your story.' With these instructions we parted ; and with but 
little hopes of our ever meeting again. I had no sooner set about getting the 
women off, than the husbands expressed a wish to accompany them; the desire 
was natural, yet I had to oppose it. This state of things distracted my atten- 
tion ; my eyes had now to be on my own people as well as on the Indians, as I 
was apprehensive they would desert. 'There is no hope for the women by going 
alone,' said the husbands, 'no hope for us by remaining here ; we might as well 
be killed in the attempt to escape, as remain to be killed here.' 'No,' said I, 
'by remaining here we do our duty ; by going, we should be deserting our duty.' 
To this remonstrance they made no reply. The Indians soon perceived that 


they had been outwitted. They turned over our baggage, and searched in every 
hole and corner. Disappointment creates ill-humour; it was so with the Indians. 
They took the men's guns out of their hands, fired them off at their feet, and 
then, with savage laughter, laid them down again ; took their hats off their heads, 
and after strutting about with these for some time, jeeringly gave them back to 
their owners; all this time they never interfered with me, but I felt that every 
insult offered to my men was an indirect insult offered to myself. 

"The day after the women went oft', I ordered one of the men to try to 
cook something for us ; for hitherto we had eaten nothing since our arrival, 
except a few raw roots which we managed to get unobserved. But the kettle 
was no sooner on the fire than five or six of the warriors with spears bore it off, 
in savage triumph, with the contents : they even emptied out the water, and 
threw the kettle on one side; and this was no sooner done than thirty or forty 
ill-favoured wretches fired a volley in the embers before us, which caused a 
cloud of smoke and ashes to ascend, darkening the air around us : a strong hint 
not to put a kettle any more on the fire, and we took it. 

"At this time the man who had put the kettle on the fire took the knife with 
which he had cut the venison to lay it by, when one of the Indians, called 
Eyacktana, a bold and turbulent chief, snatched it out of his hand; the man, in 
an angry tone, demanded his knife, saying to me, T'll have my knife from the 
villain, life or death.' 'No,' said I. The chief seeing the man angry, threw 
down his robe, and grasping the knife in his fist, with the point downwards, 
raised his arm, making a motion in advance as if he intended using it. The 
crisis had now arrived! At this moment there was a dead silence. The Indians 
were flocking in from all quarters ; a dense crowd surrounded us. Not a mo- 
ment was to be lost ; delay would be fatal, and nothing now seemed to remain 
for us but to sell our lives as dearly as possible. With this impression, grasping 
a pistol, I advanced a step towards the villain who held the knife, with full 
determination of putting an end to his career before any of us should fall ; but 
while in the act of lifting my foot and moving my arm, a second idea flashed 
into my mind, admonishing me to soothe, and not provoke, the Indians, that 
Providence might yet make a way for us to escape; this thought saved the In- 
dian's life and ours too. Instead of drawing the pistol, as I intended, I took a 
knife from my belt, such as travelers generally use in this country, and pre- 
sented it to him, saying, 'Here, my friend, is a chief's knife, I give it to you ; 
that is not a chief's knife, give it back to the man.' Fortunately, he took mine 
in his hand ; but, still sullen and savage, he said nothing. The moment was a 
critical one ; our fate hung on as by a thread ; I shall never forget it ! All the 
bystanders had their eyes fixed now on the chief, thoughtful and silent as he 
stood ; we also stood motionless, not knowing what a moment might bring 
forth. At last the savage handed the man his knife, and turning to his people 
holding up the knife in his hand, exclaimed, "Sheaugh. Mc-yokat-Waltz" — 
Look, my friends, at the chief's knife: These words he repeated over and over 
again. He was delighted. The Indians flocked round him : all admired the toy, 
and in the excess of his joy he harangued the multitude in our favour. Fickle 
indeed, are the savages ! They were now no longer enemies, but friends ! Sev- 
eral others, following Eyacktana's example, harangued in turn, all in favour of 


the whites. This done, the great men squatted themselves down, the pipe ol 
peace was called for, and while it was going round and round the smoking, 
circle, I gave each of the six principal chiefs a small paper-cased looking-glass 
and a little vermilion, as a present; and in return they presented me with two 
horses and twelve beavers, while the women brought us a variety of eatables. 

"This sudden change regulated my movements. Indeed, I might say the 
battle was won. I now made a speech to them, in turn, and as many of them, 
understood the language I spoke, I asked them what I should say to the great 
white chief when I got home, when he asks me where are all the horses I bought 
from you. What shall I say to him? At this question it was easy to see that 
their pride was touched. Tell him,' said Eyakctana, 't'hat we have but one 
mouth, and one word; all the horses you have bought from us are yours; they 
shall be delivered up.' This was just what I wanted. After a little counselling 
among themselves, Eyacktana was the first to speak, and he undertook to see 
them collected. 

"By this time it was sun-down. The chief then mounted his horse, and 
desired me to mount mine and accompany him, telling one of his sons to take 
my men and property under his charge till our return. Being acquainted with 
Indian habits, I knew there would be repeated calls upon my purse, so I put 
some trinkets into my pocket, at>d we started on our nocturnal adventure; which 
I considered hazardous, but not hopeless. 

"Such a night we had! The chief harangued, travelled and harangued, the 
whole night; the people replied. We visited every street, alley, hole and corner 
of the camp, which we traversed lengthway, crossway, east, west, south and 
north, going from group to group, and the call was 'Deliver up the horses.' 
Here was gambling, there scalp dancing; laughter in one place, mourning in 
another. Crowds were passing to and fro, whooping, yelling, dancing, drum- 
ming, singing, men, women and children were huddled together ; flags flying, 
horses neighing, dogs howling, cliained bears, tied wolves, grunting and growl- 
ing, all pell-mell among the tents; and, to complete the confusion, the night was 
dark. At the end of each harangue the chief would approach me, and whisper 
in my ear, 'Shc-augh tanitay cnim' — I have spoken well in your favour — a hint 
for me to reward his zeal by giving him something. This was repeated con- 
stantly, and I gave him each time a string of beads, or two buttons, or two 
rings. I often thought he repeated his harangues more frequently than neces- 
sary, but it answered his purpose, and I had no choice but to obey and pay. 

"At daylight we got back ; my people and property were safe ; and in two 
hours after my eighty-five horses were delivered up, and in our possession. 
I was now convinced of the chief's influence and had got so well into his good 
graces with my beads, buttons, and rings, that I hoped we were out of all our 
troubles. Our business being done, I ordered my men to tie up and prepare 
for home, which was glad tidings to them. With all this favourable change, we 
were much embarrassed and annoyed in our preparations to start. The savages 
interrupted us every moment. They jeered the men, frightened the horses, and 
kept handling, snapping, and firing off our gims ; asking for this, that, and the 
other thing. The men's hats, pipes, belts and knives were constantly in their 
hands. They wished to see everything, and everything they saw they wished 


to get, even to buttons on their clothes. Their teasing curiosity had no bounds ; 
and every delay increased our difficulties. Our patience was tried a thousand 
times ; but at last we got ready and my men started. To amuse the Indians 
however, till they could get fairly off, I invited the chiefs to a parley, which I 
put to a stop as soon as I thought the men and horses had got clear of the 
camp. I then prepared to follow them, when a new difficulty arose. In the 
hurry and bustle of starting, my people had left a restive, awkward brute of a 
horse for me to ride, wild as a deer, and as full of latent tricks as he was wild. 
I mounted at least a dozen times ; in vain I tried to make him advance. He 
reared, jumped and plunged; but refused to walk, trot, or to gallop. Every trial 
to make him go was a failure. A young conceited fop of an Indian, thinking 
he could make more of him than I could, jumped on his back; the horse reared 
and plunged as before, when, instead of slackening the bridle as he reared, he 
reined it tighter and tighter, till the horse fell right over on his back, and almost 
killed the fellow. Here Eyacktana, with a frown, called out, 'kap-sheesh 
she-earn — the bad horse — and gave me another; and for the generous act I 
gave him my belt, the only article I had to spare. But although the difficuhies 
I had with the horse were galling enough to me, they proved a source of great 
amusement to the Indians, who enjoyed it with roars of laughter. Before 
taking my leave of Eyacktana, it is but justice to say that, with all his faults, 
he had many good qualities, and I was under great obligations to him. 

"I now made the best of my way out of the camp, and, to make up for 
lost time, took a short cut; but for many miles could see nothing of my people, 
and began to be apprehensive they had been waylaid and cut off. Getting 
to the top of a high ridge, I stopped a little to look about me, but 
could see nothing of them. I had not been many minutes there, however, 
before I perceived three horsemen coming down an adjacent hill at full tilt. 
Taking them for enemies, I descended the height, swam my horse across a 
river at the bottom of it, and, taking shelter behind a rock, dismounted to wait 
my pursuers. There I primed my rifle anew, and said to myself, "I am sure 
of two shots, and my pistols will be more than a match for the other." The 
moment they got to the opposite bank, I made signs for them to keep back, 
or I would fire on them; but my anxiety was soon removed by their calling 
out, "As-nack-shee-lough, as-nack-shee-lough" — your friends, your friends. 
These friendly fellows had all the time been lurking about in anxious suspense, 
to see what would become of us. Two of them were the very couriers who had, 
as already stated, strongly tried to turn us back. I was overjoyed at this 
meeting; yet still anxious, as they had seen nothing of my men, to find whom 
we all set off, and came up with them a little before sundown. When we first 
discovered them they were driving furiously; but all at once the horses stood 
still. I suspected something, and told the Indians to remain behind, while I 
alone went on to see what was the matter; when, as I had expected, seeing 
four riders following them at full gallop, they might receive us: and we should 
have met with a warm reception, for McKay, although young, was as brave 
as a lion. But they were soon agreeably surprised, and the matter was soon 
explained. I then made signs for the Indians to come forward. The moment 
we all joined together, we alighted, and changed horses, and drove on until 


midnight, when we took shelter in a small thicket of woods, and passed the 
night with our guns in our hands. 

"At dawn of day we again set oS; and at three o'clock in the afternoon 
reached the banks of the Columbia, some six miles beyond the mouth of the 
Pisscows River, where we considered ourselves out of danger. I then started 
on ahead, in company of the friendly Indians, to see if the two women had 
arrived ; and, as good luck would have it, we found them with a canoe ready 
to ferry us across. They had reached the place about an hour before us; 
and we will give our readers a brief outline of their adventures." 

Perhaps still more vividly illustrating the kind of men that made the first 
trails across the wilderness was the experience of John Colter. He had been 
a member of the Lewis and Clark party, but on the return he decided to go 
trapping in the Rocky Mountains. 

After many adventures and changes he fell in with a party headed by 
Manuel Lisa, of the Missouri Fur Company. Lisa proceeded with his party 
to the mouth of the Bighorn River, and there established a fort. Desiring to 
notify the Indians of the arrival of the party, Lisa sent Colter all alone on a 
journey of several hundred miles to the Crows, on Wind River, and to the 
Blackfeet, at the Three Forks of the Missouri. On this journey Colter became 
an unwilling participant in a battle between those two contending tribes. He 
was on the side of the Crows, and after rendering efficient aid to his side in 
winning a victory, was severely wounded in the leg. Nevertheless, nothing 
daunted, he set forth across the ranges of towering, snowy peaks to reach Lisa's 
Fort. He succeeded in the solitary and desperate undertaking, and in the course 
of it discovered Yellowstone Lake and the geyser region, which now makes 
the Yellowstone Park one of the wonders of the world. Returning to the 
mountains, Colter was captured by the savage and cruel Blackfeet. Wishing 
to have a little sport with their hapless victim, the Indians stripped him and 
asked him if he was a fast runner. From his knowledge of their customs he 
understood that he was to be put up in a race for life against several hundred 
Indians. He gave them to understand that he was a poor runner, though as 
a matter of fact he was very fast. Accordingly, they gave him several hundred 
yards start on the open prairie, with the Jefferson fork of the Missouri six 
miles distant. Away he sped with the whole pack behind him like a band of 
wolves, with the war whoop ringing over the plain. With his naked feet torn 
and bleeding from cactus, Colter soon outdistanced most of the pursuers, but 
half-way across the plain, glancing over his shoulder, he saw that one swift 
Indian, armed with a spear, was gaining on him. With the violence of Colter's 
exertions the blood was streaming from his nostrils down the front of his 
body, and just as the Indian was almost within striking distance Colter sud- 
denly stopped and turned, a ghastly spectacle, with extended arms. The Indian 
was so disconcerted with the unexpected move that in endeavoring to wield 
his spear he lost his footing and fell. Instantly picking up the spear. Colter 
pinned his assailant to the ground and on he went again toward the river. The 
foremost of the pursuing Indians, finding their expiring comrade, paused long 
enough to set up a hideous howl and then rushed on. But Colter, though almost 
at the limit of his strength, drove himself on to the river ahead of the band, 


and, breaking through the copse of cottonwoods which skirted the stream, he 
plunged in. Just below was a small island against which drift had lodged. 
Diving beneath the drift, Colter managed to find a crack between the trees 
where he might get his head in the air. There he remained undiscovered all 
night, while the savages were shrieking around like so many devils. In the 
early morning he let loose from the drift and floated and swam a long ways 
down the stream, and when day fairly broke had got beyond the immediate 
vicinity of his enemies. But in what a horrid plight! Stark naked, with no 
food and no weapons for game, the soles of his feet pierced thick with the 
cruel spikes of the cactus! Yet such is the endurance of some men that in 
seven days during which his only subsistence was roots dug with his fingers, 
Colter made his way to Lisa's Fort. The story was told by Colter to Bradbury, 
who narrated it in his book, "Travels in North America." Irving used it in 
his "Astoria," and it also appears in Chittenden's "American Fur Trade." 
"Such was Life in the Far West." 

Hudson's bay company 

It is not possible to give lengthy details of the subsequent interesting and 
important history of the Hudson's Bay Company, but the part which it enacted 
in Oregon history was so great that we must give a brief view of its organiza- 
tion in Oregon with its capital at Vancouver. 

We have already mentioned the important fact that in 1821 the two great 
Canadian companies, the North-West and the Hudson's Bay, decided to 
unite. With the union, the great era of fur trade in the Columbia Basin fairly 
began, to continue about twenty-five years, yielding then to the American immi- 
grant. That twenty-five years of the dominance of the great Fur Company 
contained nearly all the poetry and romance as well as the profit and states- 
manship of the business. The entire region of the River, as well as that of the 
Puget Sound country, was mapped out in a most systematic manner with one 
chief central fort, Vancouver on the Columbia. A more magnificent location 
for the purpose cannot be conceived. It is now the site of a flourishing city 
and of the United States Fort Headquarters for the Northwest, generally 
conceded to be the finest fort location in the United States. At this date, 1918, 
it is headquarters for gathering air-plane spruce lumber. Fort Vancouver 
was established in 1825, upon a superb bench of land gently sloping back from 
the river for two miles. Great trees fringed the site. Mount Hood lifted its pin- 
nacled majesty sixty miles to the eastward, the sinuous mazes of the Willamette 
Valley stretched out far southward, while the lordly river was in full view 
a dozen miles up and down. Every natural advantage and delight which wild 
nature could ofifer was here in fullness. Ships could readily ascend the hundred 
miles from the ocean to unload their merchandise and take on their cargoes 
of precious furs, the furs collected at the outlay of so much toil and suflfering 
over the area of hundreds of miles. Every species of fish and game abounded 
in the waters and along the banks of the river. Deer and elk tossed their 
antlers between the stately firs of the upland and pheasants and grouse whirred 
among the branches. Geese, cranes, ducks and swans, in countless numbers. 


darkened the lagoon amid the many islands enclosed by the mouths of the 
Willamette and the adjacent water of the larger stream. Fish of many varie- 
ties, the royal Chinook salmon, king of food fish, being at the head in beauty 
and edibility, though surpassed in size by the gigantic sturgeon, which some- 
times weighed a thousand pounds, abounded in the river. No epicure of the 
world's capitals could command such viands as nature brought to the doors 
of the denizens of Fort Vancouver. 

The fort itself was laid out on a scale of amplitude suitable to the spacious- 
ness of the site. It was enclosed with a picket wall twenty feet high, with 
massive buttresses of timber inside. This enclosure was a parallelogram seven 
hundred and fifty by five hundred feet. Inside were about forty buildings, the 
Governor's residence of generous dimensions being in the center. Two chapels 
provided for the spiritual needs of the company, while schoolhouse, stores, 
"bachelors' halls," and ships of various kinds attested the variety of the needs. 
Along the bank of the river, outside the enclosure, lay quite a village of cot- 
tages for the married employes, together with hospital, boathouses, granaries, 
warehouses, threshing mills, and dairy buildings. 

Taken altogether Fort Vancouver was the model fort of the western slope. 
Moreover, the fertile soil and genial, humid climate soon encouraged the fac- 
tors of the company to experiment with gardens and orchards, and, within a 
few years after founding, fifteen hundred acres of land were in the finest state 
of productivity, while three thousand head of cattle, twenty-five hundred sheep, 
three hundred brood mares, and over a hundred milch cows, added their boun- 
teous contributions to the already plentiful resources of the fort. 

With this rich larder, with the spacious buildings, with the annual arrivals 
and departures of ships by sea and fleets of bateaux by river, with hunting 
trips and Indian policies, with the intercoast traffic with the Russians on the 
north and the Spaniards on the south, there was as much to engage and delight 
the minds of these people as if they had lived in the heart of civilization. 

Any account of Fort Vancouver would be incomplete without some refer- 
ence to Dr. John McLoughlin, chief factor of the company in the Columbia 
district from 1824 to the time of his retirement from the company in 1846 and 
settlement at Oregon City, Oregon, as an American citizen. Rarely has any 
one in the stormy history of the Columbia Basin received such unvarying and 
unqualified praise as has this truly great man. Physically, mentally, and morally, 
Doctor McLoughlin was altogether the king of the fur traders. Six feet four 
inches in height, his noble and expressive face crowned with a great cascade 
of snowy hair, firm yet kindly, prompt and business-like yet sympathetic and 
helpful, "White Eagle," as the Indians called him, was a true-born king of 

We have said that Fort Vancouver was the great central fort. Others 
commanding the pivotal points upon the river and its tributaries were Fort 
Hall and Fort Boise on the Snake, Spokane House on the Spokane near the 
present metropolis of the Inland Empire, Fort Colville on the Columbia River 
at Kettle Falls, Columbia, Fort Okanogan at the junction of the stream of that 
name with the Great River, Fort Owen in the Coeur d' Alene region. Fort 
Walla Walla, first known as Fort Nez Perce, on the Columbia at the mouth of 


the Walla Walla, and Fort George on the former site of Astoria. These forts 
were all laid out in the same general fashion as Fort Vancouver, though no one 
was so large, elaborate, or comfortable. Besides the forts there were a number 
of small trading posts. The chief furs procured in the interior were beaver, 
and those on the coast were sea-otter. Many others, as the mink, sharp-toothed 
otter, fox, lynx and raccoon, were found in abundance. 

The profits of the business were immense. Alexander Ross relates that 
he secured one morning before breakfast one hundred and ten beaver skins for 
a single yard of white cloth. Ross spent one hundred and eighty-eight days 
alone in the Okanogan country. During that time he collected one thousand 
five hundred and fifty beavers, besides other peltries, worth in the Canton market 
two thousand two hundred and fifty pounds, which cost him in his objects of 
trade only thirty-five pounds. That was while Ross was connected with the 
Astor Company. 

In completing this necessarily hurried chapter on the fascinating era of the 
fur traders, we cannot omit a brief reference to the movements of the regular 
brigades of boats up and down the river, for these comprised a great part of 
both the business and the romance of the age. The course of these brigades was 
from the southern shores of Hudson Bay, through Manitoba, to the crest of the 
Rockies at the head of the Columbia. Water was utilized to the greatest possible 
extent, while at the portages and across the mountains horse-power and man- 
power were employed. Once afloat upon the Columbia, the brigades braved 
most of the rapids, paying occasional toll of men and goods to the envious dei- 
ties of the waters, yet with marvelous skill and general good fortune making 
their way down the thousand or more miles from Boat Encampment to Fort 
Vancouver. The descent was easy compared with the ascent. The first journey 
of the east-bound brigade of the North-Westers from Astoria to Montreal was 
in 1814, and it required the time from April 4th to May Uth to reach the mouth 
of Canoe River, the point at which they entered upon the mountain climb to 
the head of the Athabasca. 

The boatmen were French-Canadians, a hardy, mercurial, light-hearted 
race, half French, with the natural grace and politeness of their race, and having 
the pleasant patois which has made them the theme of much popular present- 
day literature. They were half Indian, either in tastes and manners or in blood, 
with the atmosphere of forests and streams clinging to every word and gesture. 
They were perhaps the best boatmen in the world. Upon those matchless lakes 
into which the Columbia and its tributaries expand at intervals the fur-laden 
boats would glide at ease, while the wild songs of the coureurs des bois would 
echo from shore to shore in lazy sibilations, apparently betokening no thought 
of serious or earnest business. But once the rapids were reached, the gay and 
rollicking knight of the paddle became all attention. With keen eyes fixed on 
every swirl or rock, he guided the light craft with a ready skill which would be 
inconceivable to one less daring and experienced. The brigades would run 
almost all the rapids from Death Rapids to the sea, making portages at Kettle 
Falls, Tumwater or Celilo Falls, and the Cascades, though at some stages of 
the water they could run down even them except Kettle Falls. They always 
had to carry around those points in ascending the river. In spite of all the skill 


of the voyageurs the Columbia and the Snake, the Pend Oreille and the Koo- 
tenai, have exacted a heavy toll of life from those who have laid their compell- 
ing hands upon the white manes of chute and cataract. Many, even of the 
voyageurs, are the human skeletons that have whitened the volcanic beds of the 
great stream. 


The boats used by the fur brigades were either log canoes obtained of the 
Indians or bateaux. The former were hollowed from the magnificent cedars 
which grew on the banks of the river, sometimes fifty or sixty feet long, with 
prow carved in fantastic, even beautiful fashion. They would hold from six to 
twenty persons with from half a ton to two or three tons of load, yet were so 
light that two men could carry one of the medium size while four could handle 
one of any size around a portage. But the voyageurs never took quite so much 
to the canoes as did the Indians, whose skill in handling them in high waves is 
described by Ross and Franchere as something astonishing. And even the In- 
dians of the present show much the same ability, though the splendid cedar 
canoes are no longer made, and only here and there can one of the picturesque 
survivors be seen. 

The bateaux were boats of peculiar shape, being built very high and broad 
so thai in an unloaded condition they seemed to rest on the water almost like a 
paper shell. Both ends were high and pointed as prows. They were propelled 
with oars and steered with paddles. One of the usual size was about thirty 
feet long and five feet wide. Being light-draft, double-enders, capable of hold- 
ing large loads and yet easily conveyed around portages, more steady and roomy 
than canoes, these bateaux were the typical Columbia River medium of com- 
merce during the era of the fur traders. They, too, have mainly vanished 
from the scenes of their former glory. Canoes, bateaux, cries and yells of In- 
dians, songs of voyageurs, have gone into the engulfing limbo of the bygone, 
along with the keen-eyed Scotch factor and the sharp-featured Yankee skipper. 
Yet the swans and geese and ducks still darken the more placid expanses of the 
river and the salmon still start the widening circles in almost undiminished 
numbers, while the glaciated heights of Hood and Adams and St. Helens (we 
would rather say Wiyeast, Pahtou and Loowit) still stand guard over the un- 
changing water. 


While the British fur interest in Oregon completely triumphed over the 
American, large and influential companies were organized and carried on in 
the Rocky Mountains with energy and success by the latter people, the chief 
outfitting point being St. Louis. The chief of these companies having any 
sphere of operations within the territory of the Snake and Columbia rivers were 
the Missouri Fur Company and the Rocky Mountain Fur Company already 
spoken of. The Missouri, however, was their main field of operations. The 
elaborate history by Gen. H. M. Chittenden, referred to on a preceding page, 
gives a complete view of these companies and their chief managers. The limits 
of our space forbid more than a brief summary of the achievements of four 
men who may be looked upon as typical of the fur traders, hunters, and trail- 


makers whom we are trying to portray. These four men were William H. 
Ashley, Jedadiah Smith, Nathaniel Wyeth, and B. L. E. Bonneville. 

The first named was a native of Virginia, and went from his native state 
to St. Louis in 1802. He "grew up with the country," and became very prom- 
inent in the affairs of that then crude and wild region. He became lieutenant- 
governor in 1820, general in command of the state troops in 1822, and a member 
of Congress in 1831, serving three terms. In 1822 he formed a partnership in 
the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, with Andrew Henry, who had, as we have 
noted, been previously a member of the Missouri Fur Company, and had 
built Fort Henry on the upper Snake. Ashley carried out the business of ex- 
ploration on the Missouri and Green rivers, and in the Salt Lake Basin with 
such energy and general success (though with some serious misfortunes and 
with Indian troubles), as to acquire an ample fortune for himself and to serve 
a most important part in discovery in the Rocky Mountain region and the Salt 
Lake Basin. In 1826, Ashley drove the first wheeled vehicle of any kind, a 
wagon with a six pounder cannon, up the North Platte, through South Pass 
to Utah Lake. In this connection it is interesting to recall that Milton Sub- 
lette, a member of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, went from St. Louis, 
leaving that point April 10, 1830, with eighty-one men mounted on mules, and 
with ten wagons drawn by five mules each, to the rendezvous on Wind River. 
That may be regarded as the initiation of the Oregon Trail, later the scene of 
the "great trek" of the American people to take possession of the Pacific Coast. 

Jedadiah Smith was perhaps the most interesting and unique of all the 
noted fur traders and trail-makers. The main operations of the Rocky Moun- 
tain Company of which Smith was a member were on the upper Missouri, 
Green River, and Salt Lake. Smith, however, made several most remarkable 
journeys to California and Oregon. He was a very unique character, a devout 
Christian ariQ yet one of the boldest of traders and discoverers. He might be 
said to have carried the Bible in one hand and his rifle in the other. He usually 
began the day with devotions and expected his men to be present. Yet he 
pushed his business and discoveries to the limit. His first great trip was in 
1826. He proceeded from Great Salt Lake to the Colorado, thence across Ari- 
zona and southern California, to San Diego, a route unknown to whites before. 
After going up and down California hundreds of miles he crossed the moun- 
tains and deserts eastward the next Summer, following a more northern route 
abounding in perils and hardship. In 1827 the journey to California was re- 
peated almost immediately upon his return from the first. In the Spring and 
Summer of 1828, he struck out on an entirely new course. This was up the 
Sacramento and northwesterly across the lofty ranges of southern Oregon to- 
the Umpqua on the Oregon Coast. There with his nineteen men he did suc- 
cessful trapping, but a difficulty with the Indians resulted in the massacre of 
the whole party except himself and three others. Those three being separated' 
from the leader, he made his way in utter destitution and with great suffering 
to the Hudson's Bay Fort at Vancouver. Dr. John McLoughlin, the chief 
factor, with his usual generosity supplied the survivors of this disaster with 
their vital necessities and sent a well-armed party to secure the valuable furs 
of which the Umpquas had robbed them. Most of the furs were brought to 


Vancouver and McLoughlin paid Smith $2,000.00 for them. Remaining in 
Vancouver till March, 1829, Smith made his way up the Columbia to the 
Flathead country and thence along the Rocky Mountains to the Teton Range 
on the upper Snake River. This vast series of routes by Jedadiah Smith 
through Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, 
Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado, was the most extensive that had yet been taken 
and did more than any other to give a comprehensive view of what became the 
west third of the United States. In 1831, lamentable to relate, this truly heroic 
and enterprising master-trapper was killed by Comanche Indians on the Cimar- 
ron Desert. 

Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth and Benjamin Louis Eulalie Bonneville were 
practically contemporary, and in their adventurous careers crossed each other's 
trails. Wyeth was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and from the traditions 
of the family should have been a graduate of Harvard College. He was, how- 
ever, so eager to enter some active career that he did not complete a college 
course. He became quite fascinated with the Utopian idea about Oregon given 
to the world by Hall J. Kelley, and in 1832 he started upon a grand enterprise 
toward the setting sun. He had conceived a general plan of a vast emporium 
of American business in furs and salmon, similar to that of Astor. With an 
ardent imagination and yet great practical good sense, Wyeth had the material 
for an empire builder. That he failed to fulfill his grand design was due partly 
to sheer bad luck, but mainly to the invincible monopoly of the Hudson's Bay 
Company. The work of Wyeth was, however, an essential link in the great 
chain which finally led to American ownership of Oregon. The first trip of 
Wyeth was in 1832. He crossed the mountains in company with Sublette, a 
noted trapper of the Rocky Mountain Company, and after some disasters with 
the Indians, he traversed the Blue Mountains and reached Fort Walla Walla 
(the present Wallula) in October. Pierre Pambrun was the Hudson's Bay 
Company's agent at Walla Walla and he received the destitute and nearly fam- 
ished Americans with lavish hospitality. After recuperating a few days at 
Walla W'alla, Wyeth descended the Columbia, with unabated enthusiasm, ex- 
pecting to find the ship which had left Boston in the Spring, well laden with 
stores, already waiting his arrival. But alas for human hopes! When he 
reached Fort Vancouver he learned that his vessel had been wrecked. His men 
had already suffered much and lost faith in the lucky star of their leader and 
asked to be reheved from further service. He was compelled perforce to 
grant their request, for he had no money. Spending the Winter in and around 
Vancouver, treated by McLoughlin with utmost kindness, and acquiring much 
knowledge and experience, but no money, the indomitable Yankee determined 
to return and raise another fund and challenge fate and his rivals again. Feb- 
ruary, 1833, found him again at Walla Walla. Thence he pursued a devious 
course to Spokane and Colville, across the Divide, down the mountains to the 
Tetons on the upper Snake, where he fell in with Bonneville. First planning 
to go with Bonneville to California, Wyeth suddenly decided to return to 
Boston and make ready for an immediate new expedition to Oregon. He made 
an extraordinary voyage down the Bighorn and finally down the Missouri to 
St. Louis in a "bull-boat." Safely reaching Boston in November, he brought 


all his contagious enthusiasm to bear on certain moneyed men with the result 
that he organized a new company known as the Columbia River Fishing and 
Trading Company. A new vessel, the "May Dacre," was outfitted for the voy- 
age around Cape Horn to Oregon. 

Again with new men and equipment and with such experience from his 
former journey as made success seem sure, Wyeth started on his new expedi- 
tion from St. Louis on April 3, 1834. One interesting feature of this journey 
■was that two conspicuous scientists, Thomas Nuttall and J. K. Townsend, and 
the advance guard of the missionaries, Jason Lee and party of the Methodist 
Church, accompanied the party. But even though better equipped than before 
and though seemingly having the sanction of both Science and the Church to 
bless his aims, the same old ill-fortune seemed to travel with him. He had 
brought, under a contract made on his return the year before, a valuable stock 
of goods for the Sublettes of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, and now 
when on reaching their rendezvous he made ready to deliver the goods brought 
with so much toil and expense, the Sublettes refused to receive them. Their 
•company was, in fact, at the point of dissolution. Though Wyeth had the 
forfeit money that they had put up with the contract, that was small recompense 
for his labor of transportation. But nothing daunted, the stout-hearted pro- 
moter declared to the Sublettes, "I will roll a stone into your garden which 
you will never be able to get out." In fulfillment of his threat he prepared to 
invade their territory by building a fort in which to store the rejected goods 
and from which to send his trappers to all parts of the upper Snake. The fort 
thus established was the famous Fort Hall, the most notable fort on the whole 
route, in the near vicinity of the present Pocatello. In spite of delays, the party 
seems to have traveled with unparalleled celerity, for leaving Fort Hall they 
reached the Grande Ronde on August 31st, a date at which previous parties 
had hardly reached the head of Snake River. In the Grande Ronde the party 
again encountered Bonneville. Three days more saw them at Walla Walla, and 
on September 6th, Wyeth was once more at Vancouver. Here came misfortune 
number two. He had expected to find the "May Dacre" already in the river 
with a good haul of salmon which they planned to salt and take east on the 
return trip. But the vessel reached Vancouver the next day after Wyeth's own 
arrival, too late for any effective fishing that year. She had been struck by 
lightning and had lost three months' time in repairs. With indefatigable energy. 
Wyeth inaugurated his plans. He sent a detail of men to Fort Hall with sup- 
plies. He conducted an extensive trapping expedition to central Oregon up the 
Des Chutes River. He built Fort William on Sauvie's Island. If any one 
ever deserved success, Wyeth did. But Doctor McLoughlin, though the kindest 
of men and though personally wishing every success to Wyeth, could not forget 
that he was responsible to the Hudson's Bay Company. He underbid Wyeth 
for the Indian trade and headed him off at every turn in opening new regions. 
Nothing but a purse as long as that of the Hudson's Bay Company could have 
stood the pressure. Worst of all, a pestilence broke out among the Indians 
from which they died like flies and from which some of Wyeth's own men 
perished. The Indians attributed the scourge to the evil "Tomanowas" of the 
"Bostons" and absolutely boycotted them. The brave fight was lost. Bad luck 



and the Hudson's Bay Company were too much for this all-deserving Yankee. 
Wyeth threw up his hands, sold out to the Hudson's Bay Company for what 
they would give, yielding to them possession of his cherished Fort Hall, which 
became one of their most advantageous posts, and made his way baffled but by 
no means disheartened, to his New England home. With his downfall it be- 
came clear that no ordinary force could dispossess the great British company 
from its vantage ground in Oregon. 

But meanwhile Bonneville was upholding the Stars and Stripes as valor- 
ously, but not more successfully, than Wyeth. Bonneville was a Frenchman 
who came to New York in his youth, and who had most influential friends, and 
had also the extreme good fortune of attracting the favorable notice of Wash- 
ington Irving and becoming the hero of one of the most fascinating books of 
that leading American writer, "Bonneville's Adventures." Through this intro- 
duction to the reading public, greedy in those days for tales of the romance 
and adventure of the Far-West, Bonneville acquired a fame and vogue and 
became invested with a certain glamour beyond that of any of the fur traders 
of Old Oregon. By the favor and influence of Thomas Paine, Bonneville had 
earlier become a West Point appointee and graduated in 1819. When La Fay- 
ette came to America in 1825 Bonneville was detailed to accompany the "Hero 
of Two Continents" on his tour of the States. Greatly pleased with his young 
compatriot. La Fayette took him back to France on his return, and for several 
years the young French-American was a member of the household of that great 
man. Returning to the land of his adoption and resuming his army connec- 
tions, Bonneville became absorbed with the idea that he might gratify both his 
love of adventure and of money by entering the fur trade in the Far-West. 
Securing from the War Department an appointment as a special explorer of 
new lands and investigator of the Indian tribes, he was also allowed to make a 
personal venture in the fur trade. 

H. H. Bancroft in his "Pacific Coast Historj'" viciously attacks Bonneville 
as well as Irving who immortalized him. General Chittenden in his "History 
of the American Fur-Trade in the Far-West" defends both in a very spirited 
and successful manner. 

The series of expeditions undertaken by Bonneville extended over the 
years 1833-5. Those years were replete with adventure, hardship, romance of 
a sort, but very little success in the quest for furs. In the course of those 
years the adventurous army ofificer traversed and retraversed the country cov- 
ered by the watersheds of the Snake River and its tributaries. Green River and 
the Colorado, the Great Salt Lake Basin, and down the Columbia. One of the 
most valuable journeys of his party was through the Humboldt Basin, across 
the Sierras and into California, a new route somewhat similar to the earlier one 
of Jedadiah Smith. That, however, was commanded not by Bonneville him- 
self, but by I. R. Walker, Bonneville's most valued assistant. The most inter- 
esting part of Bonneville's expedition to the inhabitants of eastern Washington 
was his Winter trip from the Grande Ronde to the "Wayleway" (Wallowa), 
down the Snake to the present vicinity of Asotin, thence across the prairies of 
what is now Garfield and Columbia counties, to Walla Walla. He describes 
that region as one of rare beauty and apparent fertility and predicts that it will; 


some time be the scene of high cuhivation and settlement. Reaching Fort Walla 
Walla, he was received by Pierre Pambrun with the same courtesy which that 
commandant had bestowed on Wyeth, but when he tried to secure supplies for 
his depleted equipment, Pambrun assured him that he would have to draw the 
line at anything which would foster the American fur trade. Like Wyethy 
Bonneville discovered to his sorrow and cost that he was "up against" an im- 
movable wall of monopoly of the hugest and most inflexible aggregation of 
capital in the western hemisphere. He could not compete at Walla Walla. De- 
scending the Columbia River he found the same iron barrier of monopoly. He, 
too, threw up his hands. The American fur traders were at the end of their 
string. They retired and left the great monopoly in undisputed possession. 

Thus ends, in American defeat, this first combat for possession of Oregon. 
Another combat and another champion for the Americans was due. Exit the 
trapper. Enter the missionary. Another chapter and we shall see what the 
new actor could do and did do on the grand stage of Oregon history. 


We should not fail to mention here three men of unique character, wha 
were for many years "free trappers" in the Rocky Mountains and became per- 
manent residents of Oregon, well known to old-timers in Oregon. A few even 
of the present inhabitants of Yakima no doubt have seen them, while a larger 
number are familiar with their names and deeds through the memories of parents 
or grandparents. These three men were Joe Meek, "Doctor" Robert Newell, 
and "Squire" George W. Ebberts. The first was a character sure enough. The 
author of this work when a boy saw Joe Meek many times and has regarded him 
as naturally one of the brightest men that he ever knew, though without edu- 
cation or an environment of a character suited to develop his larger qualities. 
He was one who "saved the day" in a certain measure at the time of the famous 
meeting at Champoeg, Oregon, in 1843, when the settlers met to discuss the 
question of a provisional government, pending the determination of whether 
they should decide to establish an American or a British connection. The ques- 
tion hung in the balance and so nearly were the two sides divided that the 
leader of neither hardly dared call for a vote, when Meek rose to his lofty 
stature (even in old age he had about the finest physique that the author ever 
saw) and in a stentorian voice shouted out: "Who's in favor of a divide? All 
that want to join the Americans follow me!" The spell was broken. The 
Americans fell in behind the former trapper, and by fifty-two to fifty, the 
assemblage declared its preference for the Stars and Stripes. That was one of 
the big days in Oregon historj'. 

Later Meek made a Winter journey across the mountains to convey news 
of the Whitman Massacre to the Government at Washington. He called him- 
self "Envoy Extraordinary' and IMinister Plenipotentiary from the Republic of 
Oregon to the Government of the United States." He returned with the 
appointment as first United States marshal in Oregon. While well fitted for 
the militant and muscular duties of his ofifice he was hardly fitted for its clerical 
and book-keeping end. His accounts were hopelessly confused at one time 


and having been questioned in court as to what had become of certain funds, 
he repHed with the utmost sang froid and innocence, "Why, thar was barly 
enough for the offilcers!" a phrase which was a by- word in Oregon for many 

Newell was almost as much of a character as Meek, but not so witty. A 
special thing to remember of him is the fact that he drove the first wagon across 
the Blue Mountains and into the Walla Walla Valley. That was in 1840. It 
should be remembered, however, that Marcus Whitman, the missionary and 
physician, had driven a wagon from St. Louis to Fort Boise in 1836. Whitman 
covered more new ground than any other of the first roadmakers of Oregon 
and without question overcame more obstacles and is more nearly entitled to the 
credit of being the first to demonstrate the feasibility of driving wagons to the 
Pacific, than any other. 

"Squire" Ebberts was a plainer and less unique personage than either Meek 
or Newell, but well sustained his character as one of the trappers and trail- 
makers of Old Oregon. 

Such must suffice for such a view as our limits permit of the period covered 
by the era of the trapi>ers. 

In closing this chapter we desire to give a glance at the authors from whom 
we derive the history of the early American trappers. 

The literature pertaining to the Hudson's Bay Company is much more ex- 
tensive and we shall make no effort here to enumerate its representatives. The 
chief original sources for our knowledge of the ocean journey of the Astor 
party, the founding of Astoria, and the prosecution of the fur trade in Walla 
Walla, Okanogan, Spokane, Yakima, Boise, and diiiferent parts of Snake River, 
are Gabriel Franchere, Alexander Ross, Ross Cox and Peter Corney. 

The same writers narrate parts of the events of Hunt's land journey, 
though not themselves in the party, while for the early parts of the journey the 
chief authority is found in the journals of Bradbury and Nuttall, English 
naturalists who accompanied the party a portion of its course. Our knowledge 
of the doings of Smith, Ashley, Sublette, and others, is found in their various 
letters and reports, and these are most admirably exhibited in the authoritative 
work of General Chittenden, several times cited in this chapter. Over parts 
of the miscellaneous careers of the participants in that history, Washington 
Irving has cast the glow of his genius and in "Astoria," "Bonneville's Adven- 
tures," and the "Fur Traders of the West," he has provided a picture gallery 
of that era, incomparable in beauty of style and vividness of portraiture. Ban- 
croft has covered the period in his vast compendium. With much accumulation 
of valuable data he has distinguished himself by his sour and ill-founded criti- 
cisms of Irving. Any admirer of Irving who desires to see a due castigation 
of Bancroft may be gratified by reading Chapter XIV in Volume I of Chitten- 
den. Nothing is left to be desired in a suitable flaying of the ill-natured and 
voluminous compiler of the "Native Races," and other parts of Pacific Coast 
history. It may be added that while Bancroft is certainly worthy of an honor- 
able place as a collector of historical data, so much of his use of it is ill-judged 
and ill-executed that one can at times heartilv encore the sentiment of Ambrose 


Bierce, that most caustic and brilliant of California writers, in regard to his 
fellow-townsman Bancroft. It happened once in San Francisco that a man 
named Bancroft died suddenly. The report at first was that it was H. H. Ban- 
croft, the author. It proved to be a stranger, and Bierce expressed his sym- 
pathy with the country on the fact that 

"Death came so near, but missed the mark. 
And did his awful work so ill 
That Hubert H. is living still." 







In the preceding chapter we learned that the various attempts of American 
trappers and fur companies to control the fur trade of Oregon failed. 

The Hudson's Bay Company was too firmly entrenched in its vast domain 
to be loosened by any business of its own kind. Nor would there have been any 
special advantage to the United States or the world in dislodging the great 
British company and substituting an American enterprise of the same sort. 
The aim and policy of all fur companies were the same : i. e., to keep the coun- 
try a wilderness, to trade with the natives and derive a fortune from the lavish 
bounty of the wild animal life. 

The Hudson's Bay Company was as good as any enterprise of its type 
could be. 

The unfortunate fact was not so much that it was the British who were 
skimming the cream of the wilderness, as that the regime of any fur company 
was necessarily antagonistic to that incoming tide of settlers who would bring 
with them the home, the ship, the road, the church, the school, — in short, civ- 
ilization. Hence the necessary poHcy of the great fur company was to discour- 
age immigration, or, in fact, any form of enterprise which would utilize the 
latent agricultural, pastoral, and manufacturing resources of Oregon. This 
policy existed, in spite of the fact (of which we shall see many illustrations 
later) that individual managers and officers of the company were often of broad 
and benevolent character and predisposed to extend a cordial welcome to the 
advance guard of American immigration. 

A few stray Americans had drifted to Oregon and California with the 
hope of inaugurating enterprises that would lead to American occupation. In 
general, however, the land beyond the Rockies was as dark a continent as 

THE "book of life" 

But in 1832 a strange and interesting event occurred whicli unlocked the 
gates of the Western Wilderness and led in a train of conditions which made 
American settlement and ownership a logical result. In 1832 a party of four 
Indians from the Far- West appeared at St. Louis on a strange quest ; seeking 
the "White Man's Book of Life." Efiforts have been made by certain recent 
writers to belittle or discredit this event, for no very apparent reason unless it 


be that general disposition of some of the so-called critical school of investi- 
gators to spoil anything that appeals to the gentler or nobler emotions, and 
especially to oppose the idea that men are susceptible of any motives of re- 
ligion or human sympathy or any other spirit than the mercenary and mate- 
rialistic. But there can be no question about the journey of these four Indians, 
nor can there be any reasonable doubt that their aim was to secure religious 
instruction for their people. The details of the journey and the nature of the 
expectations of the tribe and of the envoys might of course be variably under- 
stood and stated, but the general statements given by rehable contemporary 
authorities are not open to doubt. 

To what tribe the Indians belonged seems uncertain. It has been stated 
by some that they were Flatheads. That tribe, though quite widely dispersed 
had their principal habitat in what is now northern Idaho and northwestern 
Montana. Miss Kate McBeth, for many years a missionary to the Nez Perce 
Indians, and located at Kamiah and then at Lapwai, near Lewiston, thought 
that three of the Indians were Nez Perces and one a Flathead. 

Nor is it known how those Indians got the notion of zk "Book of Life." 

Bonneville states in his journal that Pierre Pambrun, the agent at Fort 
Walla Walla, taught the Indians the rudiments of Catholic worship. Some 
have conjectured that the American trapper, Jedadiah Smith, a devout Chris- 
tion, may have imparted religious instruction. Miss McBeth formed the im- 
pression that their chief hope was that they might find Lewis and Clark, whose 
journey in 1805-6 had produced a profound effect on the Nez Perces. 

It is interesting to note that Clark was at the very time of this visit of the 
Indians, the superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis. He has left no state- 
ment as to the location of these Indians, though he referred to the fact of their 
visit to several persons who have recorded his statements. 

The first published account of this visit appeared in the New York "Chris- 
tian Advocate" of March 1, 1833. This was in the form of a letter from G. P. 
Disoway, who had charge of the removal of certain Indians to a reservation 
west of St. Louis. In his letter Disoway enclosed one from William Walker, 
an interpreter for the Wyandotte Indians. Walker had met the four Indians 
in General Clark's office in St. Louis. He was impressed with their appear- 
ance, and learned that General Clark had given them some account of the 
origin and history of man, of the coming of the Savior, and of His work for 
the salvation of men. According to Walker two of the Indians died in St. 
Louis. As to whether the others reached their home he did not know. The 
first account was confirmed in a most valuable way by George Catlin, the noted 
painter and student of Indian life. He was making a journey up the Missouri 
River on one of the first steamers to ascend that stream to Fort Benton. In 
the Smithsonian Report for 1885 can be found Catlin's account, as follows: 
"These two men, when I painted them, were in beautiful Sioux dresses which 
had been presented to them in a talk with the Sioux, who treated them very 
kindly, while passing through the Sioux countr}'. These two men were part of 
a delegation that came across the mountains to St. Louis a few years since, to 
inquire for the truth of the representations which they said some white men 


had made among them, that our rehgion was better than theirs, and that they 
would all be lost if they did not embrace it. 

"Two old and venerable men of this party died in St. Louis, and I trav- 
eled two thousand miles, companion with these two fellows, toward their own 
country, and became much pleased with their manners and dispositions. When 
I first heard the objects of their extraordinary mission across the mountains, 
I could scarcely believe it; but on conversing with General Clark on a future 
occasion, I was fully convinced of the fact." 

Rather curiously Catlin speaks of these Indians as being Flatheads or 
Nez Perces, as though the two tribes were identical. 

The letter by Disoway in the "Christian Advocate" was discussed in "The 
Illinois Patriot" of October, 1833, together with the statement that the subject 
had excited so much interest that a committee of the Illinois Synod had been 
appointed to report on the duty of the churches. The committee went to St. 
Louis and conferred with General Clark, receiving from him a confirmation of 
the report. 

When this pathetic story, together with the stirring appeal of the commit- 
tee, had reached the Christian people of the countrj^, it produced a profound 
impression. The decades of the Twenties and Thirties were a time of deep 
religious sentiment. It was the beginning of the missionary movements of the 
century. To the sensitive souls of the time this unheralded call from the Far- 
West seemed a veritable Macedonian cry. From it sprang the Christian mis- 
sions of Oregon. And the missionaries were the advance guard of immigration. 
And the immigration decided that the American home builder and farmer 
should own Oregon, rather than that the British fur trader and the Indians 
should keep it as a game preserve and fur depot. It would indeed be too much 
to say that American ownership of Oregon would not have resulted, if it had 
not been for the missionaries. But it may safely be said that the acquisition 
would have been delayed and that there would have been many more chances 
of failure, if the missionaries had not fitted into the evolution of the drama 
just as, and just when, they did. The missionary period was an essential one, 
coming between that of the fur traders and that of the immigrants. 

While the scope of our undertaking requires us to confine our narration 
mainly to the area covered in this history, yet in order to preserve the histori- 
cal continuity and to exhibit the forces which led to the subsequent develop- 
ments, we must enlarge the picture enough to include a glimpse of the mission 
locations outside of Yakima. 


The first of the Christian crusaders to respond to the Macedonian call 
from Oregon was a party under Jason Lee of the Methodist Church. This 
party came to Oregon in 1834 in company with Nathaniel Wyeth, the Ameri- 
can trader. Reaching Vancouver, the missionaries presented themselves to 
Doctor McLoughlin, the chief factor. He met them with every expression of 
generous good-will and advised them to locate in the Willamette Valley rather 
than among the tribes from whom had proceeded the Macedonian call. As a 


result, Lee with his assistants located at Chemawa, near the present Salem, 

From that mission sprang the first permanent American settlement, the 
native name of which was Chemeketa, Place of Council, or Peace Ground. The 
missionaries gave it the Bible equivalent, Salem, a proceeding of more piety than 
good judgment. The Willamette LTniversity of the present is the offspring 
of the school started by the missionaries for the Indian children and within 
a few years modified so as to meet the needs of the white children. For that 
earliest mission, like the later, discovered that the great work, after all, must 
be for the white race, not for the Indians. 

The next year after the coming of the Lee party, another movement was 
initiated which was destined to have a most intimate connection with Oregon 
history. In 1835 Dr. Marcus Whitman, in company with Dr. Samuel Parker, 
set forth on a reconnaissance to determine the advisability of locating a mission 
among the Indians from whom had gone the Macedonian call. Reaching Green 
River, the outlook seemed so encouraging that it was decided to part company. 
Dr. Parker continuing westward with Indians who had met them at Green 
River, while Dr. Whitman, the younger and more active of the two, returned 
to his home in Rushville, New York, and there organized a missionary band. 

As a result of Dr. Whitman's return, a party consisting of himself and 
his bride, Narcissa Prentiss, and Rev. H. H. Spalding and his newly wedded 
bride, Eliza Hart, set forth in 1836 for Oregon. With them was William H. 
Gray as secular agent and general manager. With the party also were two 
Indian boys who had accompanied Dr. Whitman the year before on his return 
from Green River. 

This bridal journey of 4,000 miles, most of it on horseback, has been 
often described. Aside from the momentous results in the history of Oregon 
and the United States, the story is one of heroism and devotion which had few 
parallels, and the record closes with a martyr's crown for Marcus and Narcissa 

MRS. whitman's diary 

Among the precious relics in Whitman College are Mrs. Whitman's diary 
and that of Mrs. Spalding, of the journey. That of Mrs. Whitman was made 
by herself from notes on the way and was sent from Vancouver to her parents 
upon the completion of the journey. Its heading is as follows: — "Narcissa 
Whitman's Diary of a Missionary Tour West of the Rocky Mountains Per- 
formed in 1836. Being the first white female ever beyond the mountains on the 
continent. The journey was performed on horseback a distance of 4,000 miles. 
She, in company with her husband, Marcus Whitman, M. D., and H. H. Spald- 
ing and wife, left the state of New York for this tour in February of 1836 — 
traveled through a part of Pennsylvania-Ohio, and finally arrived at St. Louis, 
in Missouri. Here they joined the Fur Company that crosses the mountains every 
year, and were also joined by Messrs, Suturly [Saturlee in Mrs. Spalding's 
diary] and Gray missionaries to the West. Matters thus arranged they all left 
St. Louis in March for the "far West." The further particulars of the journey 
may be learned from the following extracts from her journal taken on the 


Following this heading is a letter addressed to her parents, dated, Van- 
•couver, October 20, 1836, in which she says that the journal covers the journey 
from the "Rendezvous," and that while at Vancouver they had been so situated 
that she could copy her notes taken on the way. The party had crossed the 
Great Divide on July 4th, and on that day celebrated the natal day of the coun- 
try, and as they looked down the long vista westward seem to have felt that 
they would claim possession of that western land in the name of the American 
Union and the church of Jesus Christ. They had reached the "Rendezvous" 
on Green River July 6th. After several days there, refitting and resting and 
conferring with Indians, they resumed the next great stage of the march with 
a detachment of the Hudson's Bay Company, under Mr. McLeod, bound for 
Walla Walla. 

It was July 18, 1836, when they set forth under these new auspices. A 
■company of Flathead and Nez Perce Indians also travelled with them. It ap- 
pears from the diary of Mrs. Spalding that the Nez Perces were very anxious 
that the party accompany them, but as they apparently wished to hunt on the 
-way it was manifestly necessary that the party go with the traders. One chief- 
tain, Mrs. Spalding says, concluded to go with them, though it would deprive 
Tiim of the privilege of securing a supply of meat for the Winter. 

Mrs. Whitman tells of the tedious time which Doctor Whitman had with 
.his wagon. This was one of the notable features of his journey. Some have 
asserted that he was the first to drive a wagon from the Missouri to the Colum- 
bia. This is only partly true. Ashley, Smith, Sublette, Bonneville, and other 
trappers, had driven wagons to the Black Hills, and to other points, but none 
of them had gone so far west as Whitman with a wagon. But when he reached 
"Snake Fort." near Boise, he left his wagon. In 1840 Robert Newell went 
clear through the Blue Mountains and reached Walla Walla. However, Doctor 
Whitman deserves all praise for his energy and persistence in pushing his 
"Chick-chick-Shaile-kikash," as the Indians called his wagon, even to Fort 
Boise and he may be very justly called one of the first wheel-track-makers. 

It is interesting and pathetic to see how Mrs. Whitman craved some of her 
mother's bread. During part of their journey they had an exclusive diet of 
bufifalo meat. Occasionally they would have berries and fish. They had sev- 
-eral cows with them and from them had some milk, which was a great help. 

They had to shoe their cattle (presumably with hide, though it is not so 
stated) on account of sore feet. With the cows were two suckling calves, 
which, Mrs. Whitman says, seemed to be in excellent spirits, and made the jour- 
ney with no suffering, except sore feet. 

Soon after passing a point on Snake River, where the Indians were tak- 
ing salmon, Mrs. Whitman bade good-bye to her little trunk which they had 
been able to carry thus far, but were now compelled to leave. It is truly 
pathetic to read the words in her journal: "Dear H. (this was her sister Har- 
riet, to whom she is especially addressing the words). The little trunk you 
gave me had come thus with me so far and now I must leave it here alone. Poor 
little trunk! I am sorry to leave thee. Thou must abide there alone and no 
more by thy presence remind me of my dear Harriet. 


"Twenty miles below the falls on Snake River, this shall be thy place of 
rest. Farewell, little trunk. I thank thee for thy faithful services, and that I 
have been cheered by thy presence so long. Thus we scatter as we go along." 

A little later it appears that Mr. McKay rescued the trunk. Mrs. Whit- 
man shows that she had quite a sense of humor by recording when she found 
what Mr. McKay had done, that her "soliloquizing about it last night was for 

The journal contains quite a glowing account of the beauties of Grande 
Ronde Valley, then of the toilsome zigzag trail out of it into the Blue Moun- 
tains westward. On August 29th, the party stood upon the open summit, from 
which they saw the valley of the Columbia, "It was beautiful. Just as we 
gained the highest elevation and began to descend, the sun was dipping his disk 
behind the Western horizon. 

"Beyond the valley we could see two distant mountains. Mount Hood and 
Mount St. Helens." (The latter of those mountains was Adams, not St. Helens.) 

Our missionary band were now in sight of their goal. It was not, how- 
ever, till September 1st, that they actually rode into Walla Walla. In fact 
part of the company, including the Spaldings, did not reach the Fort till Sep- 
tember 3d. It was a thrilling moment to that devoted little band. It seemed 
to them almost equal to what it would to one of us modems to enter Washing- 
ton or Paris or London. Think of the journey of those two women, those 
hrides, those hundreds of miles from St. Louis to Walla Walla, five months 
and mainly on horseback. 

As they drew near the fort, both horses and riders became so eager to 
reach the end of the journey that they broke into a gallop. They saw the first 
appearance of civilization in a garden about two miles from the fort. That 
•garden must have been nearly upon the present location of Wallula. 

As they rode up to the fort, Mr. McLeod (who had gone ahead to prepare 
for their coming), Mr. Pambnm, the commandant, and others, came forth to 
meet so new and remarkable an addition to the population of Oregon. 

Mrs. Whitman has the enthusiasm of a child in describing the chickens, 
turkeys, pigeons, hogs, goats and cattle, which latter were the fattest that she 
ever saw, and then she goes into ecstacies over the breakfast of salmon, potatoes, 
tea, bread and butter, and then the room in the fort with its comfort, after all 
their hardships. The officers of the Fur Company treated them with the utmost 
courtesy and consideration. 

Such was that momentous entrance of the missionaries and of the first 
white women into Fort Walla Walla, September 1, 1836. 

The next chapter in the story of the Whitman party was their journey to 
Vancouver, the emporium of the Hudson's Bay Cohipany. Leaving Walla 
Walla by boat the 7th of September, they reached the "New York of the 
Pacific," as Mrs. Whitman says they had been told to consider it, on the 14th. 
Mrs. Whitman expresses in her journal the admiration of the party for the 
beauty of the river, more beautiful she says, than the Ohio, though the rugged 
cliffs and shores of drifting sand below Walla Walla looked dismal and for- 
bidding. They found much to delight them at Vancouver, the courtesy and 


hospitality of Doctor McLoughlin and his assistants ; the bounteous table, with 
feasts of salmon, roast duck, venison, grouse and quail, rich cream and delic- 
ious butter ; a picture of toothsomeness which it makes one hungry to read ; the 
ships from England moored to the river brink, and the well-kept farm with 
.grain and vegetables, fruits of every sort, grapes and berries, a thousand head 
of cattle, and many sheep, hogs, and horses; a perfect oasis of civilized de- 
lights to the little company of missionaries, worn and homesick during their 
months on horseback across the barren plains and through wild mountains. 

Doctor Whitman and Mr. Spalding, leaving their wives in the excellent 
keeping of the Hudson's Bay people at Vancouver, returned, in company with 
Mr. Gray, to the Walla Walla country to decide upon locations. They had ex- 
pected, so Mrs. Whitman says, to locate in the Grande Ronde, the beauty and 
fertility of which had been portrayed in glowing colors by returning adven- 
turers and fur traders. But discovering as they passed through that it was so 
buried in the mountains and so difficult of access from the rivers and the reg- 
ular routes of travel, they fixed upon Waiilatpu (Wielitpoo, Mrs. Whitman 
spells it) for one post and Lapwai for another. The Whitmans became estab- 
lished at Waiilatpu, "the place of rye grass" six miles west of the present 
Walla Walla; and the Spaldings at Lapwai two miles up the Lapwai Creek, and 
about twelve from the mouth of the Clearwater, the present site of Lewiston. 

A few months after the location at Waiilatpu on March 4, 1837, a beam of 
sunshine lighted in the home of the Whitmans in the form of a daughter, Alice 
Clarissa, the first white child born west of the Rockies and north of California. 
It is interesting to note that the next white girl born in what is now Washing- 
ton was for many years a resident of Yakima, Mrs. Abigail Walker Carr, bom 
at Tshimakain near Spokane, and dying in Yakima November 11, 1918. The 
Indians were extraordinarily pleased with the "little white papoose" or "Cayuse 
temi" (Cayuse girl) Alice, and if she had Hved, the tragedy of a little later 
might not have occurred. In a letter preserved at Whitman College, from Mrs. 
Whitman to her sister and husband, Rev. Lyman P. Judson, of Angelica, New 
York, dated March 15, 1838, she says: "Our little daughter comes to her mother 
every now and then to be cheered with a smile and a kiss and to be taken up to 
rest for a few moments and then away she goes running about the room or out 
of doors diverting herself with objects that attract her attention. A refreshing 
comfort she is to her parents in their solitary situation." 

With her parents so needing that child, fairly idolizing her and their very 
lives wrought up with hers, it is too sad to relate that on June 23, 1840, the 
bright active little creature wandered out of the house while the mother was 
engaged in some household task and took her way to the fatal river that then 
ran close to the mission house, though it now has a new channel half a mile 
away. Missing little Alice Clarissa, Mrs. Whitman hastened to the river, with 
a sinking dread, and there she saw the little cup where the child had dropped 
it. This mutely told the heart-breaking tale. An Indian, diving into the stream, 
found the body, but the gentle and lovable life, the life of the whole mission, 
was gone. That faithful and devoted father and mother had one less tie to 
life. The patient resignation with which the anguished parents endured this 


infinite sorrow shows vividly what strength may be imparted by the real Chris- 
tian spirit. 

Both Doctor Whitman and Mr. Spalding were indefatigable, workers and 
quickly created civilized conditions upon the beautiful places where they had 
planted their missions. 

Doctor Whitman was a man of powerful physique and familiar from 
boyhood with the practical duties of farm and mill. He could turn his hand to 
almost anything in the way of construction. The same was true of Mr. Gray, 
who spent part of his time at Waiilatpu and part at Lapwai, though he returned 
in 1837 to the east in search of new helpers. 

But within a few months the Whitmans were comfortably housed, and 
every year saw some, improvement about the buildings and land. Seed for 
grain and fruit trees was secured at Vancouver, and stock was provided also. 
The Waiilatpu farm consisted of a fertile belt of bottom land of about three 
hundred acres between the Walla Walla River and Mill Creek, with unlimited 
range of low hill and bench land covered with bunch grass which furnished the 
finest of stock feed almost the whole year round. Doctor Whitman was himself 
a practical millwright and soon had a small saw-mill equipped about twenty 
miles up Mill Creek, while adjoining the mission house he laid out a mill dam, 
the lines of which can still be seen. The mill was a grist mill and located at the 
western side of the pond and within a few steps of the mission house and the 
"Mansion," as they called the large adobe building erected a few years after 
their arrival for the accommodation of the frequent visitors, especially after 
American immigrants began to come. 

Toiling incessantly the missionary-doctor and hero was rewarded by seeing 
his mission brought in a surprisingly brief time to a condition of profitable cul- 
tivation. T. J. Farnham who came with the so-called "Peoria party" in 1839 
says of Whitman's place: "I found 250 acres enclosed and 200 acres in good 
cultivation. I found forty or fifty Indian children between the ages of seven 
and eighteen years in school, and Mrs. Whitman an indefatigable instructor. 
It appeared to me quite remarkable that the Doctor could have made so many 
improvements since the year 1836; but the industry which crowded every hour 
of the day, his untiring energy of character, and the very efficient aid of his wife 
in relieving him in a great degree from the labors of the school, enabled him, 
without funds for such purposes, and without other aid than that of a fellow 
missionary for short intervals, to fence, plow, build, plant an orchard, and do 
all the other laborious acts of opening a plantation on the face of that distant 
wilderness, learn an Indian language, and do the duties, meanwhile of a physi- 
cian to the associate stations on the Clearwater and Spokane." Joseph Dray- 
ton of the Wilkes exploring expedition of the United States Navy visited 
Waiilatpu in 1841. He says of the mission: "All the premises looked comfort- 
able, the garden especially fine, vegetables and melons in great variety. The 
wheat in the fields was seven feet in the tassel." 

Had not Dr. Whitman possessed great physical strength, as well as deter- 
mination and energy, he could not have endured the excessive toil which was 
the price of his rapid progress. Senator Nesmith who came to Oregon in the 


immigration of 1843, said in the hearing of the author of this work, "Whitman 
had a constitution hke a saw mill."' Another pioneer said of him that he had. 
the energy of a Napoleon. 

Some old timer has said that Whitman used to ride in a day to the present 
site of Lewiston from Waiilatpu, about ninety miles. He would do it by chang- 
ing horses several times. He was hard on horses, and when some one remon- 
strated on the ground of cruelty, the Doctor replied, "My time is worth more 
than the horse's comfort." 

As has been stated, Mr. W. H. Gray went east in 1837 for reinforcements. 
The next year he came again to Oregon with a valuable addition. Besides the 
addition to his own life of a bride, Mary Dix (who was one of the choice spirits 
of old Oregon and during many years a center of life and light in the new 
country) there were three missionaries, each also with a newly wedded wife. 
These were Revs. Elkanah Walker, Gushing Eells, and A. B. Smith. Mr. Gor- 
nelius Rogers accompanied the party. Reaching Walla Walla the new arrivals 
were assigned to new stations : Messrs. Eells and Walker to Tshimakain, near 
the present city of Spokane, while Mr. Smith went to Kamiah, about sixty miles 
east of the present site of Lewiston. Mr. Rogers and the Grays went to Lapwai. 
There seemed never to have been more faithful and devoted missionaries than 
were these of the four missions of Waiilatpu, Lapwai, Tshimakain and Kamiah. 
Yet it could not be said that they were successful in turning any considerable 
numbers of natives to Ghristianity. The Nez Perces at Lapwai and other sta- 
tions established by Mr. Spalding, notably the one at Alpowa, were most amen- 
able to Ghristian influences, while the Gayuses in the Walla Walla Valley were 
least so. In contemplation of the apparently scanty progress, the missionary 
board at Boston decided to discontinue the missions at Waiilatpu and Lapwai, 
to discharge Alessrs. Spalding, Gray, Smith and Rogers, and to send Dr. Whit- 
man to the Spokane country. 

While these difificulties were harassing the missionaries, very important 
events were taking place in national life. The slavery and the tarifif questions 
had become fire brands in domestic politics. The questions of annexation of 
Texas, of occupation of Oregon, of possible trouble with Mexico over the 
former and with England over the latter, were threatening corresponding 
chaos in foreign aiifairs. Doctor Whitman, reticent and sagacious, saw clearly 
that his chosen aim of leading the natives to civilization and Ghristianity was 
rapidly sinking in importance in comparison with the question of the white 
race in the new land, and of the ownership of this great region. In 1842 the 
Ashburton Treaty with England settled the northeastern boundary and the sup- 
position was that it would also settle the Oregon Question. 

But when the treaty was signed on August 9, it appeared that the ques- 
tion of Oregon was left unsettled. In a message of August 11, President 
Tyler explained to the Senate that so little probability of agreement existed that 
it was thought not expedient to make that subject a matter of negotiation. 

While the Ashburton Treaty was pending the first real immigration, 
though a small one of a hundred and twelve persons, came to Oregon. In it, 
among several of the most notable of the Old Oregonians, was A. L. Lovejoy, . 


a young New England lawyer, a man of energy and ambition, destined to play 
a conspicuous part in Oregon history. 

When the party reached Whitman's station on the Walla Walla they deliv- 
ered to him letters from the States and discussed with him the pending treaty- 
and the danger that it might draw the line so as to leave Oregon to Great Brit- 
ain, or at least to make the Columbia River the boundary, placing the entire 
Puget Sound basin and the mountains and plains eastward to the river in pos- 
session of Great Britain. Seeing the imminence of the danger. Whitman deter- 
mined upon a supreme efifort. He decided to make a mid-Winter journey east 
with three aims in view: to present to the Government the situation and the 
vital need of preserving Oregon for the United States ; to try to aid in form- 
ing and guiding an immigration to Oregon ; and to settle affairs of the mission 
with the board at Boston. He asked Love joy to go with him. It looked like 
a desperate undertaking, but Lovejoy, an athletic, ambitious young man, agreed 
to go. 


At this point comes in the bitterly disputed "Whitman Controversy." It 
is not within the scope of this work to undertake an argumentative treatment 
of this question. The question at issue, if rationally considered, is rather the 
extent of the services of Dr. Whitman in "saving Oregon to the United States." 

Mrs. F. F. Victor, Elwood Evans, Prof. E. G. Bourne, and Principal W. 
I. Marshall have, more than others, presented arguments in favor of the con- 
tention that Dr. Whitman had no important part in the great political drama of 
Oregon, while the claim that he had large political aims and bore a conspicuous 
part in influencing the final result has been supported in books written by Dr. 
O. W. Nixon, Rev. William Barrows, Professor William Mowry, and Rev. 
Myron Eells. The final book by the last named, the life of Marcus Whitman, 
is in the judgment of the writer, the final and unanswered and indeed unan- 
swerable, word on the subject. 

The author of this history has given in the Washington Historical Quar- 
terly of April, 1917, his reasons for thinking the statements of Professors 
Bourne and Marshall inaccurate and their arguments inconclusive. 

The fact acknowledged by all is that Whitman made a ride during the 
Fall and Winter of 1842 and succeeding months of 1843 which for daring, hero- 
ism and fortitude, has few parallels in history. 

The question of controversy is, what did he make such a journey for. His 
critics say that it was in consequence of the decision of the missionary board 
to discontinue his mission on the Walla Walla. Mrs. Victor and Principal 
iMarshall are the only ones among these critics who have achieved the distinc- 
tion of attributing base or selfish motives to Whitman. They have held forth 
the idea that he, foreseeing the incoming of immigrants, wanted to maintain the 
station at Waiilatpu, in order to raise vegetables and other supplies to sell at a 
high price. Whether a motive of that sort would lead a man of Whitman's 
type to take that desperate ride in mid-Winter through the Rocky Mountains, at 
peril of life a dozen times over from Indians, freezing, and starvation, is a 
question which different people w^ould view differently, according to their way 


of estimating the motives which determine men's actions. Perhaps people 
whose estimate of human nature, based possibly on their own inner conscious- 
ness of motives, is that selfish gain is the leading motive, would agree that the 
hope of cornering the vegetable market at Waiilatpu was an adequate cause of 
Whitman's ride. To some other people it would seem likely that the main- 
spring of his action was some great national and patriotic aim and that while 
he wished to maintain the mission his great aim was to convince the Govern- 
ment of the value of Oregon and to help organize an immigration which would 
settle the ownership of Oregon in favor of his country. At any rate, he went. 
That much is undisputed. 

Practically the only account of that memorable mid-Winter ride from 
Waiilatpu to St. Louis is from A. L. Lovejoy, the sole white companion of 
Whitman. Whitman himself was, like most heroes, a man of few words. 

Ke told various friends something of his experiences in Washington and 
Boston and told to associates and wrote a few letters to friends about the im- 
migration of 1843, but he seems to have been very reticent about the "Ride." 
Mr. Lovejoy wrote two letters about that journey, one dated November 6, 1869, 
which is found in W. H. Gray's History of Oregon, and one addressed to Dr. 
G. H. Atkinson and used by him in an address on February 22, 1876. This 
letter so vividly portrays the character of this undertaking, as it comes from 
the only witness besides Whitman himself, that we deem it suitable to incor- 
porate it here. 


Mr. Lovejoy says: "We left Waiilatpu October 3, 1842, traveled rapidly, 
reached Fort Hall in eleven days, remained two days to recruit and make a few 
purchases. The doctor engaged a guide, and we left for Fort Unita. We had 
terribly severe weather. The snows retarded our progress end blinded the trail, 
so we lost much time. After arriving at Fort Uinta, and making some pur- 
chases for our trip, we took a new guide and started for Taos. After being 
out some four or five days we encountered a terrific snowstorm, which forced 
us to seek shelter in a deep ravine, where we remained snowed in for four days, 
at which time the storm had somewhat abated, and we attempted to make our 
way out upon the highlands, but the snow was so deep and the winds so piercing 
and cold, we were compelled to return to camp and wait a few days for a change 
of weather. Our next effort to reach the highlands was more successful; but, 
after spending several days wandering around in the snow without making 
much headway, our guide told us that the deep snow had so changed the face 
of the country that he was completely lost and could take us no further. This 
was a terrible blow to the doctor, but he was determined not to give it up with- 
out another effort. 

"We at once agreed that the doctor should take the guide and return to 
Fort Uncompahgre and get a new guide, and I remain in camp with the ani- 
mals until he could return, which he did in seven days with our new guide, and 
we were now on our route again. Nothing of much import occurred but hard 
and slow traveling through deep snow until we reached Grand River, which 
was frozen on either side about one-third across. Although so intensely cold, 


the current was so very rapid that about one-third of the river in the center was 
not frozen. Our guide thought it would be dangerous to attempt to cross the 
river in its present condition, but the doctor, nothing daunted, was the first to 
take the water. He mounted his horse ; the guide and myself shoved the Doctor 
and his horse off the ice into the foaming stream. Away he went, completely 
under water, horse and all, but directly came up, and after buffeting the rapid 
foaming current, he reached the ice on the opposite shore a long way down the 
stream. He leaped from his horse upon the ice and soon had his noble animal 
by his side. The guide and myself forced in the pack animals, and followed the 
Doctor's example, and were soon on the opposite shore, drying our frozen 
clothes by a comfortable fire. We reached Taos in about thirty days, having suf- 
fered greatly from cold and scarcity of provisions. We were compelled to use 
mule meat, dogs, and such other animals as came in our reach. We remained 
at Taos a few days only, and started for Bent's and Savery's Fort, on the head- 
waters of the Arkansas River. When we had been out some fifteen or twenty 
days we met George Bent, a brother of Governor Bent, on his way to Taos. 
He told us that a party of mountain men would leave Bent's Fort in a few days 
for St. Louis, but said we would not reach the fort with our pack animals in 
time to join the party. The Doctor, being very anxious to join the party so he 
could push on as rapidly as possible to Washington, concluded to leave myself 
and guide with the animals, and he himself, taking the best animal, with some 
bedding and a small allowance of provision, started alone, hoping by rapid 
travel to reach the fort in time to join the St. Louis party, but to do so he 
would have to travel on the Sabbath, something we had not done before. Myself 
and guide traveled on slowly and reached the fort in four days, but imagine 
our astonishment when on making inquiry about the Doctor we were told that 
he had not arrived nor had he been heard of. I learned that the party for St. 
Louis was camped at the Big Cottonwood, forty miles from the fort, and at my 
request Mr. Savery sent an express, telling the party not to proceed any farther 
until we learned something of Doctor Whitman's whereabouts, as he wished to 
accompany them to St. Louis. Being furnished by the gentlemen of the fort 
with a suitable guide, I started in search of the Doctor, and traveled up the 
river about one hundred miles. I learned from the Indians that a man had 
been there who was lost and was trying to find Bent's Fort. They said they 
had directed him to go down the river and how to find the fort. I knew from 
their description it was the Doctor. I returned to the fort as rapidly as pos- 
sible, but the Doctor had not arrived. We had all become very anxious about 

"Late in the afternoon he came in very much fatigued and desponding; 
said that he knew that God had bewildered him to punish him for traveling on 
the Sabbath. During the whole trip he was very regular in his morning and 
evening devotions, and that was the only time I ever knew him to travel on the 

"The Doctor remained all night at the fort, starting only on the following 
morning to join the St. Louis party. Here we parted. The Doctor proceeded 
to Washington. I remained at Bent's Fort until Spring, and joined the Doctor 



the following July near Fort Laramie, on his way to Oregon, in company with 
a train of emigrants." 

In the life of Whitman by Myron Eells, there is a summary of the events 
which immediately followed, so well adapted to our purpose that we quote it 
here as resting upon the authority of Mr. Eells, whom we regard as a writer 
of undoubted candor and accuracy. 

"When Doctor Whitman arrived at St. Louis he made his home at the 
house of Doctor Edward Hale, a dentist. In the same house was William Bar- 
rows, then a young school teacher, afterward a clergyman and author of Bar- 
rows' 'Oregon.' 

"Reaching Cincinnati, he went to the house of Doctor Weed. Here, accord- 
ing to Professor Weed, he obtained a new suit of clothes, but whether he wore 
them all the time until he left the east or not is a question. Some writers speak 
of him as appearing in buckskins, or something akin to them, afterwards both 
at Washington and Boston. Some, as Dr. S. J. Parker, say he was not so 
dressed. It is just barely possible that both may be true — that he kept his buck- 
skins and buffalo coat and occasionally wore them. It is quite certain that he 
did not throw them away, as according to accounts he wore his buckskins in re- 
turning to Oregon the next Summer. 

"The next visit on record was at Ithaca, New York, at the home of his old 
missionary friend and fellow traveler, Rev. Samuel Parker. Here, after the 
surprise of his arrival was over, he said to Mr. Parker: T have come on a very 
important errand. We must both go at once to Washington, or Oregon is lost, 
ceded to the English.' Mr. Parker, however, did not think the danger to be so 
great, and not for lack of interest in the subject, but because of other reasons, 
did not go, Doctor Whitman went alone, and reached Washington. 

"The Doctor, or his brother, had been a classmate of the Secretary of War,. 
James M. Porter. Through him the Doctor obtained an introduction to Daniel 
Webster, then Secretary of State, with whom he talked about Oregon and the 
saving of it to the United States, but Mr. Webster received him very coolly, 
and told him it was too late, as far as he was concerned, for he had considered 
it, decided it, and turned it over to the President, who could sign Oregon away 
or refuse to do so. Accordingly Doctor Whitman went to President Tyler, and 
for some time they talked about Oregon. Even the Cabinet were called to- 
gether, it is said, and an evening was spent on the subject. The objection was 
made that wagons could never be taken to Oregon and that consequently the 
country could never be peopled overland by emigrants, while the distance around 
Cape Horn was altogether too great to think of taking settlers to the country 
that way. In reply to this, Doctor Whitman told of the great value of the 
country and of his plans to lead an emigration through with their wagons the 
next Summer. He stated that he had taken a wagon into Oregon six years be- 
fore to Fort Boise, that others had taken one from Fort Hall to Walla Walla, 
and that with his present knowledge, having been over the route twice, he was 
sure he could take the emigrant wagons through to the Columbia. The Presi- 
dent then said that he would wait, before carrying the negotiations any further, 
until he could hear whether Doctor Whitman should succeed, and if he should. 


there would be no more thought of trading off Oregon. This satisfied the 

"He then went to New York to see Mr. Horace Greeley, who was known 
to be a friend of Oregon. He went there dressed in his rough clothes, much 
the same that he wore across the continent. When he knocked at the door a 
lady came, Mrs. Greeley or a daughter, who, on seeing such a rough-looking 
person, said to his inquiries for Mr. Greeley, 'Not at home.' Doctor Whitman 
started away. She went and told Mr. Greeley about him and Mr. Greeley, who 
was of much the same style and cared but little for appearance, looked out of 
the window, and seeing him going away, said to call him in. It was done, and 
they had a long talk about this Northwest Coast and its political relations. 

"From New York Doctor Whitman went to Boston, where the officers of 
the American Board at first received him coldly, because he had left his sta- 
tion for the east without permission from them, on business so foreign to that 
which he had been sent to Oregon to accomplish. Afterwards, however, they 
treated him more cordially. 

"From Boston he went to New York State and visited relatives. Then 
taking with him his nephew, Perrin B. Whitman, he bade them good-by and 
left for Missouri. While there he did all he could to induce people to join the 
emigration for Oregon, then went with the emigration, assisting the guide. Cap- 
tain Gantt, until they reached Fort Hall, and aiding the emigrants very materi- 
ally. Fort Hall was as far as Captain Gantt had agreed to guide them, and 
from there the emigrants reached the Columbia River safely with their 

The incoming of the immigration of 1843 was a determining factor in the 
settlement of the Oregon question. There can be no question that Doctor Whit- 
man performed a conspicuous service in organizing and leading that immigra- 

It is true, however, that many influences combined to draw that company 
of frontiersmen to the border of civilization and to give them the common pur- 
pose of the great march across the wilderness. The leading motives perhaps 
were the desire first to acquire land in what they thought would prove a para- 
dise and second to carry the American flag across the continent and secure 
ownership of the Pacific Coast for their country. 

whitman's letter to secretary porter 

Doctor Whitman himself wrote several valuable letters referring to the 
immigration. The most important of these was one to the Secretary of War 
enclosing a proposed bill for a line of forts across the plains to defend immi- 
grations. This letter has such an important bearing on the whole story of Whit- 
man and his connection with the immigration and the acquisition of Oregon that 
part of it is incorporated here. And we would submit to the reader the diffi- 
culty which we feel that any candid critic would experience in examining this 
letter and then denying Whitman's part in "Saving Oregon to the United 
States." Whitman's letter was found among the files of the War Department 
with the following endorsement : 


"Marcus Whitman, inclosing synopsis of a bill, with his views in reference 
to importance of the Oregon Territory, War. 383-rec. June 22, 1844." 

Portions of the letter follow: 
■"To the Hon. James M. Porter, 

Secretary of War. 

"Sir: In compliance with the request you did me the honor to make last 
Winter, while in Washington, I herewith transmit to you the synopsis of a bill 
which, if it could be adopted would, according to my experience and observa- 
tion, prove highly conducive to the best interest of the United States generally, 
to Oregon, where I have resided for more than seven years as a missionary, 
and to the Indian tribes that inhabit the immediate country. The Government 
will now, doubtless for the first time, be apprised through you, or by means of 
this communication, of the immense immigration of families to Oregon which 
has taken place this year. I have, since our interview, been instrumental in 
piloting across the route described in the accompanying bill, and which is the 
only eligible wagon road, no less than three hundred families, consisting of one 
thousand persons of both sexes, with their 120 wagons, 694 oxen, and 773 
loose- cattle. 

"The emigrants are from different States, but principally from Missouri, 
Arkansas, Illinois and New York. The majority of them are farmers, lured by 
the prospect of bounty in lands, by the reported fertility of the soil, and by the 
desire to be first among those who are planting our institutions on the Pacific 
Coast. Among them are artisans of every trade, comprising, with farmers, the 
very best material for a new colony. As pioneers, these people have under- 
gone incredible hardships, and having now safely passed the Blue Mountain 
Range with their wagons and effects, have established a durable road from Mis- 
souri to Oregon, which will serve to mark permanently the route of large num- 
bers each succeeding year, while they have practically demonstrated that 
wagons drawn by horses or oxen can cross the Rocky Mountains to the Columbia 
River, contrary to all the sinister assertions of all those who pretended it to 
be impossible. 

"In their slow progress, these persons have encountered, as in all former 
instances, and as all succeeding emigrants must if this or some similar bill be 
not passed by Congress, the continual fear of Indian aggression, the actual loss 
through them of horses, cattle and other property, and the great labor of trans- 
porting an adequate amount of provisions for so long a journey. The bill here- 
with proposed would, in a great measure, lessen these inconveniences by the 
establishment of posts, which, while having the power to keep the Indians in 
check, thus doing away with the necessity of military vigilance on the part of 
the travelers by day and night, would be able to furnish them in transit with 
fresh supplies of provisions, diminishing the original burdens of the emigrants, 
and finding thus a ready and profitable market for their produce, a market that 
would, in my opinion, more than suffice to defray all the current expenses of 
such posts. The present party is supposed to have expended no less than 
$2,000 at Laramie's and Bridger's forts, and as much more at Fort Hall and 
Fort Boise, two of the Hudson's Bay Company's stations. These are at present 


the only stopping places in a journey of 2,200 miles, and the only place where 
additional supplies can be obtained, even at the enormous rate of charge, called! 
mountain prices, i. e., $50 the hundred for flour and $50 the hundred for coffee;, 
the same for sugar, powder, etc. 

"Many cases of sickness and some of death took place among those whc 
accomplished the journey this season, owing, in a great measure, to the uninv- 
terrupted use of meat, salt and fresh, with flour, which constitute the chief 
articles of food they are able to convey on their wagons, and this could be 
obviated by the vegetable productions which the posts in contemplation couldl 
very profitably afford them. Those who rely on hunting as an auxiliary sup- 
port, are at present unable to have their arms repaired when out of order ; horses 
and oxen become tender footed and require to be shod on this long journey,, 
sometimes repeatedly, and the wagons repaired in a variety of ways. I men- 
tion these as valuable incidents to the proposed measure, as it will also be found'- 
to tend in many other incidental ways to benefit the migratory population of 
the United States choosing to take this direction, and on these accounts, as well' 
as for the immediate use of the posts themselves, they ought to be provided; 
with the necessary shops and mechanics, which would at the same time exhibit 
the several branches of civilized art to the Indians. 

"The outlay in the first instance would be but trifling. Forts like those of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, surrounded by walls enclosing all the buildings, 
and constructed almost entirely of adobe, or sun-dried brick, with stone founda- 
tions only, can be easily and cheaply erected. 

"Your familiarity with the Government policy, duties, and interest, render' 
it unnecessary for me to more than hint at the several objects intended by the 
enclosed bill, and any enlargement upon the topics here suggested as induce- 
ments to its adoption would be quite superfluous, if not impertinent. The very 
existence of such a system as the one above recommended suggests the utility 
of postofiices and mail arrangements, which it is the wish of all who now live 
in Oregon to have granted them; and I need only add that contracts for this 
purpose will be readily taken at reasonable rates for transporting the mail 
across from Missouri to the mouth of the Columbia in forty days, with fresh 
horses at each of the contemplated posts. The ruling policy proposed regards 
the Indians as the police of the country, who are to be relied upon to keep 
the peace, not only for themselves, but to repel lawless white men and' 
banditti, under the solitary guidance of the superintendents of the several posts, 
aided by a well-directed system to induce the punishment of crime. It will 
only be after the failure of these means to procure the delivery for punish- 
ment of violent, lawless and savage acts of aggression, that a band or tribe 
should be regarded as conspirators against the peace, or punished accordingly 
by force of arms. 

"Hoping that these suggestions may meet your approbation, and conduce 
to the future interest of our growing country, I have the honor to be, 
Honorable Sir. 

"Your obedient servant, 
i ' ' "Marcus Whitman."' 


It may be added that Whitman was so thoroughly interested in the idea 
of the Une of forts across the continent that he wrote another communication 
to tlie Secretary of War from Waiilatpu in 1847, October 16th, only about six 
weeks before his murder, setting forth with similar force and clearness the 
wisdom of such a system. 

During the four years that followed the coming of the "Great Immigration" 
the nxission at Waiilatpu was a center of light and help to the incoming immi- 
grations. Many incidents have been preserved showing the industry, fortitude, 
and open-handed philanthropy of the Whitmans. The earlier immigrations 
usually stopped at Waiilatpu, coming across the country in the vicinity of the 
present location of Athena or Weston and down Pine Creek to the Walla Walla. 
The immigrants were always short of provisions and generally had no money. 
To have a stock of provisions at all equal to emergencies put a tremendous 
strain on Doctor Whitman, and nobly did he meet the needs. Among many 
instances of the helping hand of the missionaries are two given in Eells' life 
of Whitman, which we give as illustrative of many that might be given. 

"Among the immigrants of 1844 was a man named Sager, who had a 
family consisting of his wife and seven children, between the ages of infancy 
and thirteen. The father died of typhoid fever on Green River, and the mother 
sank under her burdens when she reached Snake River, and there died. The 
immigrants cared for the children until they reached Doctor Whitman's, but 
would take them no farther. The Doctor and his wife took the strangers in 
at first for the Winter, but afterward adopted them and cared for them as long 
as they lived. 


"Mrs. C. S. Pringle, one of these children, afterwards gave the following 
account of this event. It was written in answer to a charge made by Mrs. 
F. F. Victor that the Doctor was mercenary, making money out of the immi- 
grants: "In April, 1844, my parents started for Oregon. Soon after starting 
we were all camped for the night, and the conversation after awhile turned 
upon the probability of death before the end of the journey should be reached. 
All told what they would wish iheir families to do in case they should fall by 
the way. My father said: 'Well, if I should die, I would want my family to 
stop at the station of Doctor Whitman.' Ere long he was taken sick and died, 
but with his dying breath he committed his family to the care of Captain Shaw, 
with the request that they should be left at the station of Doctor Whitman. 
Twenty-six days after his death his wife died. She, too, requested the same. 
When we were in the Blue Mountains, Captain Shaw went ahead to see about 
leaving us there. The Doctor objected, as he was afraid the board would not 
recognize that as a part of his labor. After a good deal of talk he consented 
to have the children brought, and he would see what could be done. On the 
17th day of October we drove up to the station, as forlorn a looking lot of 
children as ever was. I was a cripple, hardly able to walk, and the babe of 
six months was dangerously ill. Mrs. Whitman agreed to take the five girls, 
but the boys must go on (they were the oldest of the family). But the 'mer- 
cenary' Doctor said, 'All or none.' He made arrangements to keep the seven 


until Spring, and then if we did not like to stay, and he did not want to keep 
us, he would send us below. An article of agreement was drawn up in writing 
between him and Captain Shaw, but not one word of money or pay was in it. 
I had it in my possession for years after I came to the (Willamette) Valley, 
having received it from Captain Shaw. Before Captain Shaw reached The 
Dalles he was overtaken by Doctor Whitman, who announced his intention of 
adopting the seven, on his own responsibiHty, asking nothing of the Board for 
maintenance. The next Summer he went to Oregon City and legally became 
our guardian, and the action is on the records of Clackamas County. Having 
done this, he further showed his 'mercenary' nature by disposing of our father's 
estate in such a way that he could not reahze a cent from it. He exchanged 
the oxen and old cows for young cows, and turned them over to the two boys 
to manage until they could grow to manhood; besides this, he gave them each 
a horse and saddle, which, of course, came out of his salary, as we were not 
mission children, as were the three half-breeds that were in the family. After 
doing all this he allowed the boys opportunities to accumulate stock by work 
or trade. Often he has said to us, 'You must all learn to work, for father is 
poor and can give you nothing but an education. This I intend to do to the 
best of my ability.' 

"Another incident with an immigrant is here related, given almost in the 
words of the narrator, Joseph Smith, who came to the country in 1846. He 
says : I was mighty sick crossing the Blues, and was so weak from eating 
blue mass that they had to haul me in the wagon till we got to Doctor Whit- 
man's place on the Walla Walla River. Then mother Whitman came and 
raised the wagon cover and says, 'What is the matter with you, my brother?' 
'I am sick, and I don't want to be pestered much, either.' 'But, but, my young 
friend, my husband is a doctor, and can probably cure your ailment ; I'll go and 
call him.' So off she clattered, and purty soon Doc came, and they packed me 
in the cabin, and soon he had me on my feet again. I eat up a whole band of 
cattle for him, as I had to winter with him. I told him I'd like to work for 
him, to kinder pay part of my bill. Wall, Doc, set me to making rails, but I 
only made two hundred before Spring, and I got to worrj'in' 'cause I hadn't 
only fifty dollars and a saddle horse, and I reckoned I owed the Doctor four 
or five hundred dollars for my life. Now, maybe I wasn't knocked out when 
I went and told the Doctor I wanted to go on to Webfoot, and asked him how 
we stood; and the Doctor p'inted to a cayuse pony, and says, 'Money I have 
not, but you can take that horse and call it even, if you will.' " 

It is worth noticing that, though Mr. Smith says "Mother" Whitman, she 
was only thirty-eight at the time. 

But at that time, the very year of the final consummation of the great 
work of Whitman, the treaty of 1846, giving Oregon up to lat. 49° to the 
United States, a consummation which must have made the brave hearts of the 
heroic pair thrill with joy and gratitude, the shadow was approaching, the end 
was near. The crown of heroism and service must be still further crowned 
with martyrdom. 

Ever since the death of little Alice, the Indians at Waiilatpu had seemed 
to lose in growing measure the personal interest which they had manifested. 


With the coming of constantly growing immigrations and the apparent eager- 
ness of the Whites to secure land, the natives felt increasing suspicion. 

The more thoughtful of them, especially those who had been in the "States" 
and had seen the countless numbers of the "palefaces," began to see that it 
was only a question of time when they would be entirely dispossessed. Again, 
the unavoidable policies of the Hudson's Bay Company were hostile to the 
American settler. While individually the ofificers of the Company were as 
kind and courteous to the missionaries as men well could be, and were helpful 
to them in their religious labors, it was a different matter when it came to 
settlers swarming into the country with the Stars and Stripes at the head of 
wagon trains and with the implements of husbandry in their hands. The Indians 
were predisposed, for many reasons, to side with the Company. With it they 
did their trading. It maintained the wild conditions of the country. The 
French-Canadian voyageurs and coureurs des bois were much kinder and more 
considerate of the Indians than the Americans, and intermarried with them. 
Besides those general causes of hostility to the Americans, there were certain 
specific events during that period of doubt and suspicion which brought affairs 
to a focus and precipitated the Whitman Massacre. Some have believed that 
the murder of "Elijah" (as the Whites called him), the son of Peupeumoxmox, 
the chief of the Walla Wallas, apparently a fine, manly young Indian, was a 
strong contributory cause. The young brave had gone to California in 1844, 
and while near Sutter's Fort had become involved in a dispute with some white 
settlers and had been brutally murdered. The old chief, Peupeumoxmox, had 
brooded over this dastardly deed and though there is no evidence that he had 
any part in the Massacre there was deep resentment among the Indians of the 
Walla Walla Valley and no doubt many of them were in the mood to apply the 
in his medicine chest, two Indians who seem to have been leaders in the plot 
usual Indian rule that a life lost demanded a life in payment. Apparently the 
most immediate influence leading to the Massacre was due to an epidemic of 
measles which swept the valley in 1847. Doctor Whitman was indefatigable iri 
ministering to the sick, but many died. The impression became prevalent among 
the Indians that they were the victims of poison. This idea was nurtured in 
their minds by several renegade Indians and half-breeds, of whom Lehai, Tom 
Hill, and Jo Lewis were most prominent. 

Seeing the gathering of clouds about the mission and the many warning 
indications. Doctor Whitman had taken up the project of leaving Walla Walla 
and going to The Dalles, a point where he had in fact at first wished to locate, 
but had been dissuaded by the Hudson's Bay officials. 


The story of the Massacre has been many times told and may be found in 
many forms. We can but briefly sketch its leading events. Mr. Spalding of 
Lapwai was temporarily at Waiilatpu and on November 27, 1847, he and Doctor 
Whitman went to the Umatilla in response to a request for medical attention. 
Feeling uneasy about affairs at home, Doctor Whitman returned the next day, 
reaching Waiilatpu late at night. On the day following, the 29th, while engaged 


approached him and while one, Tilaukait, drew his attention by talking, the 
other, Tamahas, struck him with a tomahawk. He fell senseless, though not 
yet dead. Jo Lewis seems to have directed the further execution of the cruel 
conspiracy and soon Mrs. Whitman, shot in the breast, fell to the floor, though 
not dying for some time. She was the only woman slain. There were in all, 
fourteen victims of their dreadful attack. Several escaped, Mr. Spalding, who 
was on his way back from the Umatilla, being one of them. After several days 
and nights of harrowing suffering he reached Lapwai. There were forty-six 
survivors of the Massacre, nearly all women and children. It is generally 
supposed that they were subjected to cruelty and outrage worse than death, 
though some of the survivors deny this. They were ransomed by Peter 
Skeen Ogden of the Hudson's Bay Company, and transported to the Wil- 
lamette Valley. The full story of the war which follows belongs in the Chapter 
on Indian Wars. So ended in darkness, but not in shame, the mission at 
Waiilatpu. The peaceful spot six miles west of Walla Walla, in the midst of 
the fair and fruitful valley, is marked with a granite monument on the summit 
of the hill and a grave at the foot. There the dust of the martyrs rests in a 
plain marble crypt upon the surface of which appear their names. It is indeed 
one of the most sacred spots in the Northwest, suggestive of patriotism, devo- 
tion, self-sacrifice, suffering, sorrow, tragedy, and final triumph. In November, 
1916, the remains of W. H. Gray and Mary Dix Gray, his wife, were removed 
from Astoria and placed by the side of the grave at Waiilatpu. As associates 
from the first, of the Whitmans, and engaged in the same arduous struggle for 
the establishment of civilized and Christian institutions in this beautiful wild- 
erness, they are fittingly joined with them in their final resting place. 

By reason of priority in time as well as its connection with immigration and 
public affairs, and also its tragic end, and perhaps too the controversies that 
have arisen in connection with it, the Whitman Mission has secured a place in 
history far more prominent than that of any other, either east or west of the 
Cascade Mountains. But it should not be forgotten that within a short time 
after the incoming of white settlers, all the leading churches sent missionaries 
into the Northwest both for the Indians and whites. Next in point of time 
after the Methodist missions of the Willamette Valley and the Presbyterian 
and Congregationalist missions of the upper Columbia and Snake Rivers, came 
the Catholic. It should be understood that in speaking of that church as third 
in time we speak of the era of the beginnings of settlement. For it should be 
remembered that there had been visiting Catholic priests among the Hudson's 
Bay posts long prior to the coming of Jason Lee, the first of the Protestants. 
The French-Canadians were almost universally of Catholic rearing, and the 
officers of the company encouraged the maintenance of religious worship and 
instruction according to the customary methods. There were not, however, any 
regular permanent Catholic missions until a little after the Protestant missions 
already described. 

The inauguration of regular mission work by the Catholic Church grew 
out of the establishment of a settlement at Chanipoeg on the Willamette by 
Doctor McLoughlin during the years from 1828 on. Quite a little group of re- 
tired Hudson's Bay Company men, French-Canadians with Indian wives and 


half-breed children, had become located on the fertile tract still known as French 
Prairie. So well had the settlement thrived that in 1834, the year of the arrival 
of Jason Lee in the same neighborhood, an application was made to Doctor 
Provencher, vicar apostolic of Hudson Bay, to send a clergyman to that point. 
A church was built in 1836, the first church building in Oregon. Not till 1837 
could the request for a visit from a minister to Oregon be fulfilled. In that 
year, Rev. Modeste Demers went to the Red River, and the following year, in 
■company with Rev. Francis N. Blanchet, resumed the journey to Oregon. 

In the progress of their journey they stopped at Walla Walla for a day. 
Reaching Vancouver on November 24, 1838, they entered with zeal and devo- 
tion upon their task of ministering to both whites and Indians. Remaining at 
Vancouver till January, 1839, Father Blanchet started on a regular course of 
visitations, going first to the settlement on the Willamette where there were 
twenty-six Catholic families and where the people had already constructed a 
•chapel. Next he visited Cowlitz Prairie, where there were four families. These 
stations were of course outside of the scope of the present work, but reference 
to them indicates the time and place and manner of starting the great series of 
Catholic missions which soon became extended all over Oregon. 

While Father Blanchet was at Cowlitz, his fellow worker, Demers, estab- 
lished mission work at Fort Nisqually. In the Summer of 1839 he made an ex- 
tended tour of the upper Columbia region. In the course of this he visited 
Walla Walla, Okanogan, and Colville, starting work among the Indians by 
baptizing their children. From that time on Father Demers or some one of 
the Jesuit priests made annual visits to those stations adding children by bap- 
tism each year. 

In the meantime another of the most important of the Catholic mission- 
aries, and the one to whom the world is indebted for one of the best histories 
of Oregon missions, was on his way. This was Rev. Father Pierre J. De Smet. 
In March, 1840, he set out for Oregon from the St. Joseph Mission at Council 
Bluffs, journeying by the Platte River route. On June 25th he reached Green 
River, long known as a rendezvous of the fur traders. 

There he held Mass for the trappers and Indians. Referring to this in a 
subsequent letter he writes thus: "On Sunday the fifth of July, I had the con- 
solation of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice sub dio. The altar was placed on an 
elevation, and surrounded with boughs and garlands of flowers; I addressed 
the congregation in French and in English and spoke also by an interpreter to 
the Flatheads and Snake Indians. It was a spectacle truly moving for the heart 
of a missionary to behold an assembly composed of so many dififerent nations 
who all assisted at our holy mysteries with great satisfaction. The Canadians 
sang hymns in French and Latin, and the Indians in their native tongue. It 
-was truly a Catholic worship. The place has been called since that time, by the 
French-Canadians, la prairie de la Messe." 

After a week at the Green River rendezous, Father De Smet with his Indian 
guides resumed the journey westward by way of the Three Tetons to the 
upper waters of Snake River. While at Henry Lake he climbed a lofty peak 
from which he could see in both directions and while there he carved on a stone 
the words: "Sancttts Igiwtitts, Patronus Montium, Die Julii 23, 1840." 



That was as far west as Father De Smet went at that time. After two 
months among the Flatheads about the head of Snake River he returned to St. 
Louis in the last part of the year. One point of interest in connection with this 
return, as showing the disposition of the Indians to seek religious instruction, 
is that a certain Flathead chief named Insula who accompanied Father De Smet 
to St. Louis, had gone to Green River in 1835 to meet missionaries. It is stated 
by Rev. Father E. V. O'Hara in his valuable "Catholic History of Oregon" 
that Insula was much disappointed to find not the "blackgowns" as he had ex- 
pected, but Doctor Whitman and Doctor Parker on their reconnaissance. It is 
probably impossible to determine just what distinction between different de- 
nominations of Christians may have existed in the Indian mind, but it may be 
recalled that Whitman and Parker, while at Green River, deemed the outlook 
so encouraging that they decided that Whitman should return to the States for 
reinforcements, while Parker went on with the Indians and made an extensive 
exploration of the entire Oregon country. 

Father De Smet returned to the Flathead mission in 1841 and in 1842 pro- 
ceeded to Vancouver by way of the Spokane. In the course of the journey he 
visited all the principal Indian tribes in the Kootenai, Pend Oreille, Coeur 
d'Alene, Spokane and Walla Walla countries. Returning to the east after 
twenty-five months of missionary service in Oregon and then spending some 
time in Europe, he returned with quite a reinforcement in the ship LTnfatigable 
in 1844 The ship was nearly wrecked on the Columbia River bar, and of the 
experience De Smet gives a peculiarly vivid description. He deemed the final 
safe entrance due to special interposition of Divine Providence on account of 
the day, July 31st, being sacred to St. Ignatius. 

Father De Smet was a vivid and interesting writer and a zealous mission- 
ary. He greatly overestimated the number of Indians in Oregon, placing them 
at a hundred and ten thousand and in equal ratio estimated the converts at 
numbers hardly possible except by the most sweeping estimates. 

The Catholic missions were gradually extended until they covered points 
in the entire Northwest. The Bishop of Oregon was Rev. Francis N. Blanchet 
who was located near Salem. In 1845 and 1846 he made an extensive tour 
in Canada and Europe for the purpose of securing reinforcements. As a result 
of his journey and the action of the Holy See the Vicariate was erected into 
an Ecclesiastical Province with the three sees of Oregon City, Walla Walla, 
and Vancouver Island. Rev. A. M. A. Blanchet was appointed Bishop of Walla 
Walla, and Father Demers Bishop of Vancouver Island, while Bishop F. N. 
Blanchet was promoted to the position of Archbishop of Oregon City. 

Bishop A. M. A. Blanchet reached Fort Walla Walla on September 5, 1847, 
having come with a wagon train by the usual emigrant road from St. Louis. 
This might be regarded as the regular establishment of Catholic missions in 
Walla Walla. The Bishop was accompanied to Walla Walla by four Oblate 
Fathers of Marseilles and Father J. B. A. Brouillet as Vicar General, and also 
by Father Rousseau and William Leclaire, Deacon. Bishop Blanchet located 
among the Umatilla Indians at the home of Five Crows. The mission was fairly 
established only a few days prior to the Whitman Massacre. Bishop Blanchet 
went to Oregon City after the massacre and by reason of the Indian war he 


found it impossible to return to Walla Walla. He established St. Peter's Mis- 
sion at The Dalles, and there he remained till September, 1850. During that 
year there came instructions from Rome to transfer the Bishop of Walla Walla, 
to the newly established diocese of Nisqually. The diocese of Walla Walla- 
was suppressed and its administration merged with that of Colville and Fort 
Hall in the control of the Archbishop of Oregon City. 

While in this view of missionary history and its connections we have 
been covering the broad scope of Old Oregon, which included the entire North- 
west, we do not forget that our theme is especially the Yakima Valley. 

It seems that neither the earliest explorers, fur traders, nor mission- 
aries became so familiar with Yakima as with Walla Walla, Spokane, or the 
Snake River. The reason is obvious. While the Yakima was unsurpassed by 
any of them in potential resources and in the vigor and number of native tribes, 
Yakima was ofT the main routes of travel. The Snake and Columbia were the 
great natural arteries of travel, and the primary aim of all incomers was to 
reach the seaboard. The maps of Lewis and Clark show that they obtained 
from the Indians at the mouth of the Tapteal (Yakima) and on the Columbia 
adjoining, a remarkably intelligent conception of the rivers and mountains. 
They learned of the towering heights of the Cascades and of course followed, 
the Great River to the ocean. The trappers did the same. Yet it appears from. 
the narratives of Alexander Ross and other of the first trappers that there were 
frequent and regular visits to Yakima in search of furs or horses. The same 
was doubtless true of the early missionaries 

Apparently the Catholic missionaries were first in the field in the Yakima 
Valley. There seems to be a little uncertainty about the first locations.. 
Reverend Father O'Hara in his "Catholic History of Oregon," refers to Father 
D'Herbomez as having established the Yakima mission "with his indefatigable- 
brethren of the Oblates in the year 1847," and maintaining it till the Indian 
war of 1855 forced him to retire. It appears from Theodore Winthrop in 
"Canoe and Saddle," from which we shall give an extract, that Fathers 
D'Herbomez and Pandosy were located on the "Atinam" (Ahtanum) and that 
they had been among the different tribes of the Yakimas some five years." 
Winthrop's journey was in 1853. The mission of the Ahtanum became known? 
later as the St. Joseph Mission, but it appears that the mission of that name 
was first located near the present town of Wapato, but on the north side of the 
Yakima River, near the present residence of W. P. Sawyer. To the Indians 
the spot was known as Aleshecas. This mission was located in 1849 by Father 
Pandosy and Brother Blanchet. It appears that there was also an auxiliary 
mission in the Moxee. On account of threats against the mission by some of 
the Indians Owhi, the chief, took Father Pandosy with him to Selah and some- 
times to Manashtash. Father Chirouse in the meantime spent the Winter of 
1849 with Brother Blanchet at Aleshecas. In the next year, however, Kamiakin 
took him under his protection. 

Mr. Splawn states also that a log house was built for Father Pandosy on- 
Naneum Creek in 1850. In 1852 the mission at Aleshecas was abandoned and 
that near the present Tampico became the St. Joseph Mission. During the war 
of 1855 the soldiers under Major Rains of the Regulars and Colonel Nesmith; 

Built liy J. P. Mattoon in 1864, mm iiuiuM liy Win. V. Sauyei 

;mki; iKiMi: ok w. r. sa\v\ 



■of the Volunteers finding the mission house on the Ahtanum deserted and a 
keg of powder secreted, jumped to the conclusion that the Fathers were aiding 
the Indians, and accordingly the mission was burned. Such was the end of 
the first mission on the Ahtanum. 

Mr. Splawn understands from the records of Father A. M. A. Blanchet 
that the first mission in Yakima was the St. Rose Mission and that it was estab- 
lished in 1847 at "Simkoe." Another authority is quoted by Mr. Splawn (His- 
toricus, in Gonzaga Magazine, 1914) as asserting that the St. Rose Mission 
was estabhshed at Chemna at the mouth of the Yakima River. 

From Winthrop's narrative we find that Father Pandosy was on the Ahtanum 
in 1853 and had been among the different tribes of the Yakimas for some five 
years. He states that the priests told him that they spent the summers in the 
Ahtanum "when the copper-colored lambs of their flock were in the mountains, 
plucking berries in the dells, catching crickets on the slopes. In Winter they 
resided at a station on the Yakimah eastward." Doubtless it was the Aleshecas 
Mission referred to as eastward. It appears from evidence given .in the 
United States courts in the subsequent suit over the mission claim at Tampico 
that that mission was established in 1852. From this it would seem authorita- 
tive that the Tampico Mission was established in 1852, and that the St. Rose 
Mission of 1847, whether at Chemna or Simkoe, was the earliest mission. As 
quoted by Mr. Splawn the founding of that mission is attributed to Fathers 
Paschal Ricard and E. C. Chirouse. 

It appears from the statements of Mr. David Longmire that there was a 
priest located at Selah in 1853 at what is now the George Hall place. 


The effect of the war of 1855-6 and the burning of the buildings of the St. 
Joseph Mission was the suspension of the Catholic missions for a number of 
jears. Fathers Pandosy, Chirouse, and D'Herbomez spent the year following 
in Fort Simcoe and among the Wenatchee, Okanogan, and Spokane tribes, and 
no one of them returned to Yakima. In 1867-68 Fathers St. Onge and Boulet 
undertook the reestablishment of the mission on the Ahtanum. Buildings were 
completed in 1870 and in the year following on July 15th, dedicatory services 
were conducted by Bishop A. M. A. Blanchet. In 1870 one of the most not- 
able of the Catholic missionaries located at Ahtanum. This was Father Car- 
uana. Two years later came Father Grassi. These two men were typical Jesuit 
missionaries, patient, zealous, and indefatigable. They served alternately in 
some degree, each being assigned part of the time to the Ahtanum Mission and 
part to the St. Regis Mission at Kettle Falls. It is interesting to note that in 
1872 these Fathers set out an apple orchard on the Tampico place, which is now 
on the A. D. Eglin ranch. In 1883 Father Grassi established Gonzaga College 
at Spokane. Although Father Caruana was especially assigned to the work 
among the Indians, he, like the missionaries of all the denominations, had recog- 
nized the fact that the churches must look to the white population for their 
main source of upbuilding. As there came to be some gathering of population 
at Yakima City in the early seventies Father Caruana undertook the founding 
of both a church and a school. This school was the beginning of St. Joseph's 


Academy for Girls, moved from the old town to North Yakima and now a 
flourishing institution with fine buildings and an attendance of three hundred 
pupils. Father Jean Baptiste Raiberti was first chaplain of this school. 

The close of the life of Father Caruana has an element of pathos. He 
had reached a great age, and after various changes of location, always keeping 
up his mission work, in 1896 he went to Coeur d'Alene, where he lived in re- 
tirement through his declining years. In 1913 he was urged to attend the semi- 
centennial of the beginning of his mission work in Spokane. The exertion was 
beyond his feeble strength and two days after his return to Coeur d'Alene he 
passed away, revered by both whites and reds. He had been a missionary to 
the Indians for fifty-one years. 

With the administration of President Grant in 1869, a new system of mis- 
sions on Indian reservations came into existence. This was the assignment of 
the spiritual oversight of the natives to different churches. 

In pursuance of this policy, inaugurated and announced to Congress in 
1870, the Indians of the Yakima Reservation were assigned in that year to the 
Methodists. This action was disastrous to the Catholic missions in Yakima, 
and within a few years they were practically disbanded. As may be seen from 
Father O'Hara's book on the "Catholic History of Oregon," the Catholic 
Church felt that it was unjustly treated in the application of this policy. It is 
asserted that they had no proper representation on the Commission of Indian 
Affairs. Father De Smet asserted in a letter of March 11, 1871, that, having 
been invited to attend a meeting of various church people in Washington City 
to consider assignments, he found himself the only Catholic in the conference 
and practically powerless to secure any consideration for his church. Never- 
theless the order was made that the Catholics should be allowed to build chapels 
on the Yakima Reservation. As a matter of fact, there are both Methodists 
and Catholics among the Reservation Indians, though the author has been re- 
cently informed by those familiar with afifairs on the Reservation that the 
Indians are not inclined to adhere to any Christian Church, the dissensions in 
the various denominations and their own unhappy experiences with many of 
the so-called Christian race having weakened their faith in all churches. 

In connection with this stage of the history we come in contact with one 
of the dominant figures of Yakima history, James H. Wilbur. His history 
properly belongs to that of the Reservation and we shall have much more to say 
of him later. But he is fitly mentioned in connection with mission work. 
He was a leading man among the first Methodist ministers and missionaries 
in Oregon, a man of extraordinary power both of body and spirit. He was a 
true representative of the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant, and 
in case of any failure of spiritual forces he could wield those of the physical 
arm v;ith an energy which made him a terror to evil doers. He became Super- 
intendent of Schools on the Reservation in 1860 and in 1864 was appointed 
Indian agent. In both capacities he was an earnest missionary to the Indians. 
With the introduction of Grant's policy in 1870, Mr. Wilbur became able to use 
both official and moral agencies for the promotion of the Methodist Church. 
And he was a genuine frontier Methodist of the powerful type. His power was 
great and his influence unbounded. He was agent twenty years and during 
that time exercised a force among both races such as few men in the North- 


west ever did. Honored, loved, respected by all, and feared by some, Father 
Wilbur was truly one of the great men of the Northwest. He passed away in 
Walla Walla in 1887, at the age of seventy-seven. With the decade of the 
seventies it may be said that the missionary era ended, and we shall be ready 
to take up that of the immigrants. 

As a final view of the early days of the Yakima missions we will close 
this chapter with the promised extract from Winthrop's fascinating volume, 
"Canoe and Saddle." 

It will be recalled that Winthrop, an officer of the United States Army, 
later losing his life in the Civil War, a soldier, traveler, poet, and all-round hero, 
made a solitary journey in 1853 from Puget Sound to The Dalles by way of 
the Naches Pass and the River. He had stopped on the Wenas to interview the 
McClelland party of railroad engineers, and had then gone on toward "Le Play 
House," as the Indians called it, the St. Joseph Mission. 

This is his narrative of the approach to the Ahtanum : — "We had long ago 
splashed across the Nachchese. The sun, nearing the western hills, made 
every opening valley now a brilliant vista. The rattlesnake had died just on the 
edge of the Atinam ridges, and Kpawintz was still brandishing his yellow and 
black prey, and snapping the rattle about the flanks of his wincing roan, when 
Uplintz called me to look with him up into the streaming sunshine, and see Le 
Play House. 

"A strange and unlovely spot for religion to have chosen for its home 
influence. It needed all the transfiguring power of sunset to make this desolate 
scene endurable. Even sunset, lengthening the shadow of every blade of grass, 
could not create a mirage of verdant meadow there, nor stretch scrubby cotton- 
wood trees to be worthy of their exaggerated shade. No region this where a 
Friar Tuck would choose to rove, solacing his eremite days with greenwood 
pleasures. Only ardent hermits would banish themselves to such a hermitage. 
The missionary spirit, or the military religious discipline, must be very positive, 
which sends men to such unattractive heathen as these, to a field of labor far 
away from any contact with civilization, and where no exalting result of con- 
verted multitudes can be hoped. 

"The mission was a hut-like structure of adobe clay, plastered upon a 
frame of sticks. It stood near the stony bed of the Atinam. The sun was just 
setting as we came over against it, on the hill-side. We dashed down into the 
valley, that moment abandoned by sunlight. My Indians launched forward 
to pay their friendly greeting to the priests. But I observed them quickly 
pause, walk their horses, and noiselessly dismount. 

"As I drew near, a sound of reverent voices met me, — vespers at this sta- 
tion in the wilderness. Three souls were worshipping in the rude chapel at- 
tached to the house. It was rude indeed, — a cell of clay, — but a sense of the 
Divine Presence was there, not less than in many dim old cathedrals, far away, 
where earlier sunset had called worshippers of other race and tongue to breathe 
the same thanksgiving and the same heartfelt prayer. No pageantry of ritual 
such as I had often witnessed in ancient fanes of the same faith; when in- 
cense filled the air and made it breathe upon the finer senses ; when from the 
organ tones, large, majestical, triumphant, subduing, made my being thrill as 
if music were the breath of a new life more ardent and exalting; when inward 


to join the throngs that knelt there solemnly, inward to the sanctuary where 
their fathers' fathers had knelt and prayed the ancestral prayers of mankind for 
light and braver hope and calmer energy ; inward with the rich mists of sunset 
flung back 'from dusky-'^walls of' tinre-g-lorified marble palaces, came the fair 
and the mean, the desolate and the exultant, came beauty to be transfigured to 
more tender beauty with gentle penitence and purifying hope, came weariness 
and pain to be soothed with visions of joy undying, celestial, — came hearts 
well-nigh despairing, self scourged, or cruelly betrayed, to win there dear re- 
pentance strong with tears, to win the wise and agonized resolve; — never in 
any temple of that ancient faith, where prayer has made its home for centuries, 
has prayer seemed so mighty, worship so near the ear of God, as vespers here 
at this rough shrine in the lonely valley of Atinam. 

"God is not far from our lives at any moment. But we go for days and 
years with no light shining forth from kindling heart to reveal to us the near 
divineness. With clear and cultivated perception we take in all facts of beauty, 
all the wonderment of craft, cunning adaptation, and subtile design in nature ; 
we are guided through thick dangers, and mildly scourged away from enfeebling 
luxury of too much bliss ; we err and sin, and gain the bitter lessons of penance ; 
and all this. while we are deeming or dreaming ourselves thoughtfully religious, 
and are so up to the measure of our development. But yet, after all these 
years, coming at last to a wayside shrine, where men after their manner are 
adoring so much of the Divine as their minds can know, we are touched with a 
strange and larger sympathy, and perceive in ourselves a great awakening, and 
a new and wider perception of God and the Godlike, and know that we have 
entered upon another sphere of spiritual growth. 

"Vespers ended. The missionaries, coming forth from their service, wel- 
comed me with quiet cordiality. Visits of men not savage were rare to them 
as are angels' visits to worldlings. In Winter they resided at a station on the 
Yakimah in the plains eastward. Atinam was their Summer abode, when the 
copper-colored lambs of their flock were in the mountains, plucking berries in 
the dells, catching crickets on the slopes. 

"Messrs. D'Herbomez and Pandosy had been some five years among the 
different tribes of this Yakimah region, efl^ecting of course not much. They had 
become influential friends, rather than spiritual guides. They could exhibit 
some results of good advice in potato patches, but polygamy was too strong 
for them. Kamaiakan, chiefest of Yakimah or Klickatat chiefs, sustained their 
cause and accepted their admonitions in many matters of conduct, but never 
asked should he or should he not invite another Mrs. Kamaiakan to share the 
Tionors of his lodge. Men and Indians are firm against clerical interference 
in domestic institutions. Perhaps also Kamaiakan had a vague notion of the 
truth, that polygamy is not a whit more unnatural than celibacy. 

Whether or not these representatives of the Society of Jesus have per- 
suaded the Yakimahs to send away their supernumerary squaws, for fear of 
something harsher than the good-natured amenities of purgatory, one kindly 
and successful missionary work they have done, in my reception and entertain- 
ment. Their fare was mine. Salmon from the stream and potatoes from their 
own garden spread the board. Their sole servant, an old Canadian lay brother, 
cared for my horses — for them and for me there was perfect repose." 







The Yakima country was among the later regions of the Northwest to be 
■developed, but it went through essentially the same stages of history as Walla 
Walla, the Willamette, the Palouse, and other parts of the country. The arid 
climate of all except the parts contiguous to the mountains discouraged settle- 
ment to any large degree until the time for irrigation arrived. But like other 
sections it passed through the stages of gold hunting, fur hunting, cattle raising, 
— and then entered into its destiny of becoming the great horticultural and or- 
chard region of the state. Its stages of evolution were retarded longer, then 
more rapidly accelerated than the others and finally came with a rush not 
known in any other section of the inland country. It may be noted, however, 
that it was the common experience of all the interior sections to be neglected 
by the earliest immigrations. The first settlers all headed for the seaboard, first 
the Willamette Valley, and then Puget Sound. 

Hence, we find even in Walla Walla, the first to be developed of the inland 
districts, that the builders were largely of those who came with the railroads 
and not with the ox-teams. Much more so was it the case with Spokane and 
Yakima, which could hardly be called pioneer sections at all in the sense of the 
Willamette Valley, whose creators were mainly the ox-team pioneers of the de- 
cades of the forties, fifties, and sixties. Yet in spite of this fact that Yakima 
is, and has been, essentially a modern rather than a genuine pioneer community 
in the primitive sense, many of its builders are the children or grand children 
of the ox-team pioneers, and the halo of that heroic era still casts its glow over 
all their childhood memories. And yet further, aside from personal connec- 
tions, the era of the pioneers is one of the great working facts of American his- 
tory. As a nation we were born on the move westward. Indeed we cannot 
claim this great pioneer movement to be an American fact, though it is more 
vividly exhibited in America and especially Western America than elsewhere. 
It is in truth a world fact. While we cannot aver and we cannot bring any 
rabbinical legend to prove it — we have the impression that when Adam and 
Eve were just fairly recovering from the shock of expulsion from the Garden 
of Eden, Eve, brushing away her tears, looked bravely toward the unknown 
and said, "Let's go West, Adam!" Their descendants have been moving West 
ever since. And now in the greatest cataclvsm of history, we here, where East 



is West and West is East, — we, the children of the pioneers, are sending our 
sons and our treasure both East and West, in order to teach the world that great 
fundamental fact, Liberty, the boon for which our fathers moved West. 


The pioneer era was ushered in by the coming to Oregon of fur hunters, 
missionaries and Httle bands of adventurers, who together composed the nucleus 
of that American community which formed the Provisional Government of 
1843. There were certain individuals, too, whose agency in leading the way to 
the immigration movement was so unique as to deserve mention. 

One of these was Hall J. Kelley of Boston. He was a native of New 
Hampshire and a Harvard graduate. As early as 1815, when seventeen years 
old, he conceived the idea of the colonization of Americans in Oregon. He was 
a man of high scholarship, philanthropic spirit, and patriotic purpose. He was 
a dreamer and idealist, planning to form a community on the Columbia, as one 
of the Utopias which minds of that stamp, from Plato down, have been fond 
of locating somewhere in the unexplored West. After making a great effort 
with partial success, to enHst Congress in his schemes, he succeeded in organiz- 
ing a company of several hundred, and by 1828 shaped the definite plan of 
going to St. Louis and following the route of the fur companies across the 
plains to the River of Oregon. But opposition by those same fur companies 
and adverse criticism by the press broke up his enterprise for that time. In 
1832 he started with a small party for the land of his dreams by the route 
through Mexico and California. He met with Ewing Young, an American of 
great natural abilities and some education. Young and Kelley, brainy and 
original men, the former from shrewd commercial instinct and the latter from 
philanthropic dreams, formed a little company, and proceeded overland from 
California to Oregon. This was in the autumn of 1834. When, after some dis- 
asters, the company of eleven reached the Columbia, Young took up a great 
tract of land in the Chehalem Valley, where he devoted himself to stock-raising, 
Kelley, having become an invalid, went in distress to Fort Vancouver, where 
Doctor McLoughlin treated him with kindness, though the exclusive "British- 
ers" would not admit him to "social equality." The other members of the 
company were scattered in various directions, but some of them remained till 
American occupancy became an accomplished fact. 

This company of 1834, — the same year that the Methodist missionaries 
under Jason Lee arrived — ^may be considered the advance guard of American 
immigration. Kelley, upon his return to New England by way of the Sand- 
wich Islands, disseminated much useful information about Oregon. To him, 
without doubt, is to be attributed much of the subsequent wave of interest 
which swept on toward American immigration. As first a New England col- 
lege man. educator, and social theorizer, and then a leader of the pioneer move- 
ment to Oregon, Hall J. Kelley is worthy of permanent remembrance. 

Ewing Young became distinguished for leading the party which in 1837 
drove a band of seven hundred cattle from Califomia to Oregon. This event 
marked an epoch in preparing for immigration and subsequent American pos- 


session. One of the peculiarly noteworthy facts in connection with Young's 
enterprise, is that Doctor McLoughlin, the Hudson's Bay Company's magnate, 
who had at first discountenanced Young on account of a charge of stealing 
brought against him from California, and who frowned upon the cattle enter- 
prise for fear of American influence, became reconciled to both Young and the 
cattle, and subscribed liberally to the enterprise. 

The next movement may be called a real immigration to Oregon. It con- 
sisted of a party of nineteen, commonly known as the "Peoria party," since they 
went from Peoria, Illinois. Jason Lee, the missionary of Chemeketa, deliv- 
ered a lecture at that place in 1838, and so much interest in Oregon was aroused 
that in the year following, the Peoria party, the first regular party from the 
Mississippi Valley, set forth for the River of the West. Their leader, T. J. 
Farnham, christened his followers the "Oregon Dragoons" and Mrs. Farnham 
gave them a flag with the inscription, "Oregon or the Grave." Farnham de- 
clared his purpose to seize Oregon for the United States. 

The Peoria party had the good fortune to have two writers with the num- 
ber, v/hose accounts possess rare interest. These writers were the leader Farn- 
ham, and Robert Shortess. The party went to pieces at Bent's Fort on the 
Arkansas, but its members reached Oregon somewhat in driblets during that 
year, and the one following. Shortess reached the Whitman Mission at Walla 
Walla in the Fall of 1839, and there he remained until the following Spring, 
when he went down the river to The Dalles. From The Dalles, he made his 
way over the Cascade Mountains to the Willamette Valley, and there he lived 
many years. Farnham also finally reached Oregon, but his avowed mission 
was unfulfilled. Shortess says of him: "Instead of raising the American flag 
and turning the Hudson's Bay Company out-of-doors, he accepted the gift of a 
suit of clothes and a passage to the Sandwich Islands, and took a final leave of 
Oregon." But upon his return to the States, Farnham published a "Pictorial 
History of Oregon and California," a book of many interesting features, and 
one which played a worthy part in waking the people of the Mississippi Valley 
to the attractions of the Pacific Coast. 


Soon after the close of Wyeth's enterprise, there were two notable govern- 
ment expeditions to the Columbia River. One was commanded by Sir Edward 
Belcher of the British Navy, and the other by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes of 
the American Navy. The Wilkes Expedition was one of the most interesting 
and important ever undertaken by the United States Government. The 
squadron consisted of two sloops-of-war, the "Peacock" and the "Vincennes," 
the store ship, "Relief," the brig, "Porpoise," and the schooners, "Sea Gull" 
and "Flying Fish." This fine squadron took up its principal station on Puget 
Sound, from which extensive surveys were made, one across the mountains to 
Fort Okanogan ; another to the Cowlitz Valley and the Columbia River as far 
as Wallula. 

One of the most important results of this elaborate Wilkes Expedition was 
to estabHsh in the minds of officers of the Government the essential unity of all 


parts of the Pacific Coast and the boundless opportunities offered to American 
immigration. Wilkes and his intelligent officers readily grasped, and conveyed 
through an elaborate report to the Government, the idea that Paget Sound was 
an inherent and integral part of Oregon and that the Columbia Basin was essen- 
tial to the proper development of American commerce upon the Pacific. They 
may also have forecast the time when California, with her girdles of gold and 
chaplets of freedom, would spring, Athena-like, from the Zeus brain of Ameri- 
can enterprise. The control of the river was the key to the control of the entire 
coast from San Diego to the Straits of Fuca ; and American ownership should 
have extended to Sitka. 

A memorable calamity occurred to the squadron upon its entrance to the 
river, and that was the loss of the "Peacock" on the Columbia River bar. The 
oft depicted terrors of the river were realized at that time, and yet it was not 
the river's fault, for the "Peacock" was out of the channel. The spit is known 
as "Peacock Spit" to this day. 

Among the many episodes connecting Wilkes with the early immigration 
was the building of the schooner "Star of Oregon" and her voyage to Califor- 
nia for cattle. This was in 1842. It will be remembered that Ewing Young 
had made a successful trip from California with cattle. But as the popu- 
lation of the Columbia had increased there was a great desire among 
the settlers to obtain a larger number of cattle to let loose upon the 
rich pasture lands of the Willamette Valley. A little group of Ameri- 
cans conceived the adventurous project of building a schooner of Oregon 
timber, sailing to California and there trading her for stock and driving the 
band home across the country. The schooner was built by Felix Hathaway, 
Joseph Gale, and Ralph Kilbourne. The oak and fir timber of which the vessel 
was built was cut on Sauvie's Island, at the mouth of the Willamette, and in 
due time she was launched and taken to Willamette Falls for fitting. A diffi- 
culty arose. Doctor McLoughlin refused to sell sails, cordage, and other ma- 
terials. He had the only supply in Oregon. In despair the enterprising ship- 
builders appealed to Lieutenant Wilkes. He felt a keen interest in their laud- 
able undertaking and made a visit to McLoughlin to try to change his resolu- 
tion. By assuring the Doctor that he would be responsible for all the bills, as 
well as for the good conduct of the party, he induced him to allow the requisi- 
tion for all materials necessary to complete the gallant craft. Gale was the only 
sailor in the party. Having satisfied Wilkes that he was qualified to command 
a ship, and having received from him a present of a flag, an ensign, a com- 
pass, kedge-anchor, hawser, log line, and two log glasses, the captain flung the 
flag to the Oregon breeze and turned the prow of the "Star of Oregon" toward 
the river's mouth. She may be remembered as the first sea-going vessel built 
of Oregon timber. Crossing the bar in a storm, she sped southward in a spank- 
ing breeze, all hands seasick except Gale. He held the wheel thirty-six hours 
continuously and in five days "dashed through the portals of the Golden Gate 
like an arrow, September 17, 1842." 

As it was too late to get the cattle back to Oregon that fall, the party sold 
their schooner for three hundred and fifty cows, wintered in California, and the 
next Spring drove to the Columbia twelve hundred and fifty head of cattle, 


six hundred head of mules and horses, and three thousand sheep. This was 
an achievement which made the way for immigration clearer than ever before, 
and in a most effective manner united the American settlers with the American 
Government. Some of the Hudson's Bay Company people could begin to see 
the handwriting on the wall. Doctor McLoughlin saw most quickly and most 
clearly, and as elsewhere narrated, began to transfer his interests to the Amer- 
ican side. This fine old man was big-brained, big-bodied, and big-souled, a nat- 
ural American, though compelled to work for the British fur monopolists for 
the time. He admired the independent spirit of the incoming Yankee immi- 
grants, even when the joke was on him. He afterwards told with much gusto 
of an American named Woods crossing the Columbia to Vancouver to try to get 
goods. He found his credit shaky, and somewhat piqued, he exclaimed : "Well, 
never mind, I have an uncle back east rich enough to buy out the whole of your 
old Hudson's Bay Company!" "Well, well, Mr. Woods," demanded the auto- 
crat, "who may this very rich uncle of yours be?" "Uncle Sam," was the un- 
abashed and characteristic American reply. "Old Whitehead" also appreciated, 
though he was obliged to manifest a dignified disapproval, when two young 
men from New York, having reached the fort on the river, were asked about 
their passports. Laying their hands on their rifles they replied, "These are an 
American's passports." 

These small miscellaneous immigrations were in continuance from about 
1830 to 1842. In the latter year a hundred came. In 1843, as elsewhere re- 
lated, the Provisional Government was instituted. At the very same time, 
the immigration of 1843 was on its way to the river. 


This immigration of 1843 was in many respects The most remarkable of all. 
It was the first large one, and it was a type of all. It will be remembered that 
Dr. Marcus Whitman had made his great Winter ride in 1842-43 across the 
Rockies to St. Louis, with a double aim. First he wished to see the officers of 
the American Board of Missions and then to enlist the American Government 
and people in the policy of holding Oregon. This was against the manifest 
aims of the British. There was already a tremendous interest felt in Oregon 
among the people of Missouri, Illinois, and the other great Prairie States. 
Whitman's opportune arrival and his announced purpose to guide an immigra- 
tion to the Columbia became widely known, and brought to a focus many 
vaguely-considered plans. 

J. W. Nesmith, subsequently one of the most prominent pioneers and a 
member of each House of Congress from Oregon, has given a humorous ac- 
count of the manner of starting this immigration of 1843, of which he was a 
member, which is so characteristic that we quote it here. "Mr. Burnett, ( or as 
he was more familiarly styled, 'Pete,' was called upon for a speech. Mounting 
a log, the glib tongued orator delivered a glowing, florid address. He com- 
menced by showing his audience that the then western tier of states and terri- 
tories were crowded with a redundant population, who had not sufficient- elbow 
room for the expansion of their enterprise and genius, and it was a duty they 


owed to themselves and posterity to strike out in search of a more expanded 
field and a more genial climate, where the soil yielded the richest return for 
the slightest amount of cultivation, — where the trees were loaded with perennial 
fruit, — and where a good substitute for bread, called La Camash, grew in the 
ground ; where salmon and other fish crowded the stream ; and where the 
principal labor of the settlers would be confined to keeping their gardens free 
from the inroads of buffalo, elk, deer, and wild turkeys. He appealed to our 
patriotism by picturing forth the glorious empire we should establish upon the 
shores of the Pacific, — how with our trusty rifles we should drive out the British 
usurpers who claimed the soil, and defend the country from the avarice and pre- 
tensions of the British Lion, — and how posterity would honor us for placing 
the fairest portion of the land under the Stars and Stripes. * * * Other 
speeches were made full of glowing description of the fair land of promise, the 
far-away Oregon, which no one in the assemblage had ever seen, and about 
which not more than half a dozen had ever read any account. After the elec- 
tion of Mr. Burnett as captain, and other necessary officers, the meeting, as 
motley and primitive a one as ever assembled, adjourned, with 'three cheers' 
for Captain Burnett and Oregon." 

Peter Burnett to whom Nesmith here refers, was the same who became 
the first Governor of California. 

By the walnut hearth-fires in many a home of the Prairie States and at the 
corn-huskings and quilting bees the talk of Oregon and the forests of the Colum- 
bia, and the rich pasture lands of the Willamette, and the salmon and game, and 
genial climate and majestic mountains, went the rounds. Interest grew into 
enthusiasm, enthusiasm waxed hot, and in the early Spring the great immigra- 
tion of 1843 set forth from Westport, Missouri, for the Columbia waters. 
Though the immigration of 1843 was the earliest of any size and the first with 
any number of women and children, it had perhaps the least trouble and mis- 
fortune and the most romance and gayety and enthusiasm of any. The experi- 
ence of crossing the plains was one which nothing else could duplicate — the 
hasty rising in the chill damp of the morning, the preparing the cattle and horses 
for the long, hard drive, the rounds of the wagons to strengthen bolts and 
tires and tongues, the loading of the rifles for possible hostile Indian or 
buffalo, the setting forth of the scouts on horseback, the long train strung across 
the dusty plain, the occasional bands of wild Indians emerging like a whirl- 
wind from the broad expanse, and then the approaching cool of night with its 
hurried rest on the tough prairie sod. Sometimes there were nights of 
storm and stampede and darkness. Sometimes savage beasts and savage men 
startled the train, or one of the stupendous herds of buffalo went thundering 
across the prairie. Then came the first glimpse of snowy heights, then of deep 
canyons, and then the summit was attained, and far westward stretched the 
maze of plains and mountains through which the Snake River, the greatest of 
the tributaries of the Columbia, took its swift way. 

During most of the journey Dr. Marcus Whitman was guide, physician, 
and friend. While severe controversy has arisen as to the extent of his services 
in organizing the immigration, the testimony is unvarying as to the value of 
his presence with the train. Last to bed at night and first up in the morning, 


attending the people, cattle, and horses in their sicknesses and accidents, ahead 
of the train on horseback to find the passes of the hills and the fords of the 
rivers, the watcher by night and the pilot by day, the missionary doctor was the 
veritable "Mr. Greatheart" of the immigration. 

Great was the astonishment of Captain Grant, commandant of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company's Fort Hall on Snake River, near the present Pocatello, 
when the long train filed past the enclosure. Grant had known Whitman before 
and was aware of his stubborn determination and patriotic purpose. But Grant 
attempted just the same to dissuade the immigrants of 1843 from going farther 
with their wagons, declaring the Blue Mountains to be impassable. But on the 
immigrants went westward. A band of Indians from Waiilatpu, headed by 
Sticcus, came to meet the train, searching for Whitman, telling him that his 
medical services were in great demand at Lapwai. The much-needed guide 
turned over the pilotage of the train to Sticcus, and he himself hastened on to 
minister to the sick at Lapwai. As he passed through Waiilatpu he learned 
that the threatening conduct of the Indians had led Mrs. Whitman to go to 
Vancouver, and that during his absence the Indians had burned his mill and 
committed other depredations. But it was his lot to labor and suffer. He had 
become accustomed to it. 

The event proved that Sticcus was a thoroughly capable guide. For 
though not speaking a word of English, he made his directions so well under- 
stood by pantomime that, as Mr. Nesmith has said, he led them safely over the 
roughest mountain road that they ever saw. And so in due time the train 
emerged from the screen of timber on the Blue Mountains. Stretched wide 
before them lay the plains of Umatilla and Walla Walla, while in the far dis- 
tance the "River of the West" poured through the arid waste. Yet farther the 
snow summits of the Cascade ridged the western sky. After a brief pause at 
Waiilatpu, the train reached the banks of the river. The immediate vicinity of 
the section of the river first reached is very dry in Autumn. Aside from the 
river itself, the immediate scene is desolate and forbidding. But probably those 
immigrants of '43 gazed upon the blue flood, a mile wide and hastening to the 
western ocean, with feelings almost akin to those which swelled the hearts of 
the Pilgrims landing from the Mayflower. This was another epic of state- 
making, and one generation after another of the Americans who have wrought 
such achievement may well turn back to join hands with those before. 

Doubtless the immigrants, as they stood by the river in the pleasant haze 
of the October afternoon, felt as though their journey was substantially at an 
end. Being now at Fort Walla Walla on the river of that name, they paused 
to make ready for the last stage of the journey, little realizing what perils and 
sufferings it would entail. Doctor Whitman and Archibald McKinley, the chief 
factor at the fort, advised them to leave their cattle and wagons to winter on 
the Walla Walla, while they pursued their way down the stream on flatboats. 
Part of the company accepted the advice, but a number determined to keep all 
their belongings together and to take the road along the bank of the river to 
The Dalles, and there make flatboats. 

To those who remained on the Walla Walla now fell the difficult task of 
constructing flatboats. Huge, uncouth structures they were, made of timber 


gathered on the river bank. But when loaded and pushed out into the swift 
current, steered with immense sweeps in the stern, these floatboats afforded 
to the footsore and exhausted immigrants a dehghtful change. Out of the dust, 
off the rocks, away from the sagebrush, with more of laugh and song than they 
had had for many a day, they swept gaily on. For a hundred miles or more 
the elements were propitious. With the bright sunshine, the clear, cool water, 
the majestic snow peaks in the distance, the easily gliding boats, this seemed 
the pleasantest part of the entire journey. But after The Dalles had been 
reached and the two divisions of the company were again united and on their 
way down the River to the Cascades, disaster began to haunt them. 

From the Cascades to Vancouver, the company suiifered more than in all 
the rest of their journey. The Fall rains were at hand, and it poured with an 
unremitting energy such as no one can realize who has not seen a rain storm 
on the lower River. Food had become almost exhausted. Clothing was in 
rags. Tired, hungry, wet, cold, disheartened, the immigrants who had so 
jauntily descended the River to this "Strait of Horrors" presented a most woeful 
appearance. It actually seemed that many must perish. But in the crisis, help 
came. One of the party managed to procure a canoe and hastened down the 
River to Fort Vancouver. As soon as Dr. McLoughlin learned that nearly nine 
hundred men, women and children were beleaguered in the mist and chill, he 
equipped boats with flour, meat and tea, and, in his choleric excitement, waving 
his huge cane, bade the boatman hurry to the rescue. It was not business for 
the good Doctor to thus aid and abet American immigrants, and the directors 
of the Hudson's Bay Company and the cold-blooded Sir George Simpson, 
governor-in-chief, disapproved. But it was humanity, and that ever predomi- 
nated in the mind of "Old Whitehead." The next night he caused vast bonfires 
to be alight along the bank, and gathered all the eatables and blankets that 
the place afforded. When boat loads of the battered, but rescued Americans 
drew near the Doctor was on the bank to meet them, to hand out the women 
and children, to administer the balm of cheery words and warmth and 
food. Few were the travelers on the river, none were the immigrants of 
'43, who would not rise up and call him blessed. 

After this happy pause at Vancouver, the immigration passed on to the 
Willamette Falls, then the center of operations in Oregon, and there they were 
soon joined by the chosen men who had driven their thireteen hundred head 
of cattle by the trail over the Cascade Mountains, a task toilsome and even 
distressing, but one that was accomplished. After an inactive winter in the 
mild, muggy, misty Oregon climate, the immigrants of '43 spread abroad in 
the opening Spring to secure land, each his square mile, as the Provisional 
Government provided, and as the American government was contemplating. 

Such was the coming of tbe immigrants to the River. Subsequent immi- 
grations bore a general resemblance to that of 1843. Each had its special 
feature. That of 1845 was conspicuous for its size. It was three thousand 
strong. It was also illustrious for the laying out of the road across the Cas- 
cade Mountains, near the southern flank of Mount Hood. This noble and diffi- 
cult undertaking was carried through by S. K. Barlow and William Rector. It 
was a terrific task, and not completed the first year. Canons, precipitous rocks. 


morasses, sandhills, tangled forests, fallen trees, criss-crossed and interlaced 
with briars and vines and shrubbery of tropical luxuriance, such as no one can 
appreciate who has not seen an Oregon jungle — these were the obstructions tO' 
the Barlow Road. But they were vanquished, and in 1846 and thence onward 
the immigrants made this the regular route to the Willamette Valley. So steep- 
was Laurel Hill on the western slope that wagons had to be let down by ropes 
from level to level. The marks of the ropes or chains are still seen on the trees- 
of Laurel Hill. The immigration of 1852 was sadly conspicuous for the devas- 
tations of cholera. Many a family was broken in sunder and some even were 
entirely eliminated by the dreadful plague. The immigrations of 1854 and 1855' 
were notable for the Indian outbreaks, and especially for the atrocious butchery 
of the Ward family, near Boise, in the earlier year, the most pitiless Indian, 
outrage in Oregon history. 

From 1850 onward for some years the Donation Land Law of Congress, 
was a great lure to immigrants, for by it a man and wife could obtain a section 
of land. A single man could take up half a section. That situation encouraged 
early marriages. Girls were in great demand. It was no uncommon thing to 
see fourteen-year-old brides. Some narrators relate having found married 
women in the woods of the Columbia who were playing with their dolls ! But, 
though the immigrations varied in special features, they were all alike in their 
mingling of mirth and melancholy, of toil and rest, of suffering and enjoyment,, 
of heroism and self-sacrifice. They embodied an epoch of American history 
that can never come again. To have been an immigrant from the Missouri 
to the Columbia was an experience to which nothing else on earth is compar- 
able. It confers a title of American nobility by the side of which the coronets- 
of some European dukes are tawdry and contemptible. Perhaps no one ever 
better phrased the spirit of Oregon immigration than Jesse Applegate, of the 
train of '43, one of the foremost of Oregon's builders, long known as the 
"Sage of Yoncalla." So fitting do we deem his language that we quote here 
an extract from one of his addresses : 

"The Western pioneer had probably crossed the Blue Ridge or the Cum- 
berland Mountains when a boy and was now in his prime. Rugged, hardy,, 
and powerful of frame, he was full to overflowing with the love of adventure,, 
and animated by a brave soul that scorned the very idea of fear. All had 
heard of the perpetually green hills and plains of western Oregon, and how the 
warm breath of the vast Pacific tempered the air to the genial degree and 
drove Winter back to the north. Many of them contrasted in imagination the 
open stretch of a mile square of rich, green, and grassy land, where the straw- 
berry plant bloomed through every Winter month, with their circumscribed 
clearings in the Missouri bottoms. Of long Winter evenings neighbors visited 
each other, and before the big shell-bark hickory fire, the seasoned walnut fire, 
the dry black-jack fire, or the roaring dead elm fire, they talked these things 
over; and as a natural consequence, under these favorable circumstances, the 
spirit of emigration warmed up; and the "Oregon fever" became as a household 
expression. Thus originated the vast cavalcade, or emigrant train, stretching: 
its serpentine length for miles, enveloped in vast pillars of dust, patiently wend- 
ing its toilsome way across the American continent. 


"How familiar these scenes and experiences with the old pioneers! The 
vast plains, the uncountable herds of buffalo; the swift-footed antelope; the 
bands of mounted, painted warriors; the rugged, snow-capped mountain ranges; 
the deep, swift, and dangerous rivers, the lonesome howl of the wild wolf; the 
.midnight yell of the assaulting savage; the awful panic and stampede; the 
solemn and silent funeral at the dead hour of night, and the lonely and hidden 
grave of departed friends, — what memories are associated with the Plains 


To readers of this volume the most interesting immigration in many respects 
is that of 1853. This was the first to pass through the Yakima Valley and 
-over the Naches Pass to Puget Sound. We have the inestimable privilege of 
the residence in Yakima County of a participant in that historic immigration. 
This is David Longmire, one of the most honored of pioneers, whose clear 
mind and tenacious memory make his recollections a treasury of valuable 
information about that immigration as well as other phases of history with 
which he has been connected, while his genial and kindly disposition has made 
friends of all who know him. Mr. Longmire prepared an account with a list 
-of names for the Washington Historical Quarterly of January, 1917, which is 
so valuable that we incorporate it here. 

Aiken, A. G. ; Aiken, James ; Aiken, John ; Baker, Bartholomew C. ; Baker, 
Mrs. Fanny; Baker, James E. ; Baker, John Wesley; Baker, Leander H. ; Baker, 
lilijah; Baker, Mrs. Olive; Baker, Joseph N. ; Baker, William LeRoy; Barr, 
James; Bell, James; Bell, Mrs. Eliza (Wright) ; Bennett, William; Biles, James; 
Biles, Mrs. Nancy M. ; Biles, George W. : Biles, James B. ; Biles, Clark; Biles, 
Mrs. Kate (Sargent); Biles, Mrs. Susan Belle (Drew); Biles, Mrs. Euphemia 
(Brazee) (Knapp) ; Biles, Margaret; Bourne, Alexander; Bowers, John; 
■Burnett, Frederick ; Brooks, Mrs. Martha (Young) ; Byles, Rev. Charles ; Byles, 
Mrs. Sarah W. ; Byles, David F. ; Byles, Charles N. ; Byles, Mrs. Rebecca E. 
(Goodell) ; Byles, Mrs. Sarah I. (Ward); Byles, Luther; Claflin, William; 
Clinton, Wesley ; Davis, Varine ; Day, Joseph ; Downey, William R. ; Downey, 
Mrs. William R. ; Downey, Christopher Columbus ; Downey, George W. ; 
Downey, James H. ; Downey, William A. ; Downey, R. M. ; Downey, 
John M. ; Downey, Mrs. Louise (Guess) ; Downey, Mrs. Jane (Clark) ; 
Downey, Mrs. Susan (Lathm) ; Downey, Mrs. Laura Belle (Bartlett) ; 

Finch, Henry C. ; Fitch, Charles Reuben ; Frazier, ; Frazier, Mrs. 

Elizabeth: Gotzen, G. ; Guess, Mason F. ; Guess, Wilson; Gant, James; 
■Gant, Mrs. James ; Gant, Harris ; Gant, Mrs. Harris ; Greenman, Clark 
N. ; Hampton J. Wilson ; Himes, Tyrus ; Himes, Mrs. Emiline ; Himes, 
George H. ; Himes, Mrs. Helen Z. (Ruddell) ; Himes, Judson W. ; 
Himes, Mrs. Lestina Z. (Eaton) ; Hill, Mrs. Marj- Jane (Byles) ; Horn, 
Thomas; Horn, Mrs. Thomas; Johns, Benjamin; Judson, Peter; Judson, Mrs. 
Peter ; Judson, Stephen ; Judson, John Paul ; Kilborn, Norman ; Kincaid, 
William M. ; Kincaid, Mrs. Susannah (Thompson) ; Kincaid, Ruth Jane 
(McCarty) ; Kincaid, Joseph C. ; Kincaid, Mrs. Laura (Meade); Kincaid, 
James; Kincaid. William Christopher; Kincaid, John; Lane, Mrs. Daniel E. ; 


Lane, Edward; Lane, Daniel E. ; Lane, William; Lane, Timothy; Lane, Albert; 
Lane, John; Lane, Mrs. Elizabeth (Whitesel) ; Lane, Mrs. Abigail; Light, Eras- 
tus A. ; Light, Mrs. Erastus A. ; Light, Henry ; Light, Harvey ; Longmire, 
James; Longmire, Mrs. James; Longmire, Elcaine; Longmire, Mrs. Tillathi 
(Kandle) ; Longmire, John A.; Longmire, David; McCullough, James; McCul- 
lough, Mrs. Julia Amy; McCullough, Mrs. Mary Frances (Porter); McCul- 
lough, Flora, now a sister of charity in Montreal ; Meller, Mrs. Gertrude 
(DeLin) ; Moyer, John B. ; Melville, George; Melville, Mrs. George; Melville, 
Mrs. Kate (Thompson); Melville, Robert; Mitchell, Henry; Morrison; Neisan, 
John ; Ogle, Van., now ninety-three years old, living at Orting, Washington ; 
Ragan, Henry; Ragan, John; Ray, Henry; Ray, Sam; Risdon, Henry; Risdon, 
Joel; Rockfield, H. ; Sarjent, Asher; Sarjent, Mrs. Asher; Sarjent, E. N. ; 
Sarjent, Francis Marion; Sarjent, Wilson; Sarjent, Mrs. Matilda (Saylor) ; 

Sarjent, Mrs. Rebecca (Kellett) ; Sperry, J. A.; Stewart, Mr. ; Steward, 

Mrs. ; Steward, Miss; Steward, Celia; six more children of Steward fam- 
ily, names unknown ; Watts, Evan ; West, Newton ; Whitmore, Seymour ; 
Woolery, Isaac; Woolery, Mrs. Margaret; Woolery, Mrs. Agnes (Lamon) ; 
Woolery, James Henderson ; Woolery, Robert Lemuel ; Woolery, Mrs. Sarah 
Jane (Ward); Woolery, Abraham; Woolery, Garden; Woolery, Mrs. Abraham 
(Aunt Pop), Mary Ann; Woolery, Jacob Francis; Woolery, Daniel Henry; 
Whitesel, William; Whitesel, William Henry; Whitesel, Mrs. Nancy (Leach); 
Whitesel, Margaret ; Whitesel, Alexander ; Whitesel, Cal. ; Wright, Israel H. ; 
Wright, Mrs. Israel H. ; Wright, Benjamin F. ; Wright, Mrs. Benjamin F. ; 
Wright, James; Wright, Mrs. Eliza (Bell); Wright, Mrs. Rebecca (Moore); 
Wright, William; Wright, Byrd; Wright, Carl; Wright (Grandfather) ; Wright 
(Grandmother); Wright, Mrs. Annis (Downey); West, Newton; Woodward, 
John W. ; Young, Austin E. 

Mr. Longmire states that there were two sections of the train — one of 146 
persons with thirty-six wagons, the other of thirty-nine persons. On the 
Umatilla, where Pendleton now is, the party having been induced to go to the 
Sound direct, across the Cascade Mountains through the Yakima Valley, left 
the Oregon Road and crossing the plains where Athena now is, passed the 
former Whitman Station at Waiilatpu and thence to Fort Walla Walla (Wal- 
lula.) About twenty-one of the party, however, continued down the Orego-ft 
Road to Portland. One of the most interesting statements of Mr. Longmire 
pertains to the kindness shown the party by the Walla Walla chief, Peupeu- 
moxmox. He and his brother slaughtered a fat beef for them, assisted them 
across the Columbia, and guided them across the Yakima and on their way 
north. The brother unintentionally took them from their intended course, but, 
as Mr. Longmire says, "that was not his fault." They had told him that they 
wanted to go "where the soldiers were." They had in mind the soldiers on 
Puget Sound, but the Indian thought that they referred to the soldiers at Fort 
Colville and headed them in that direction. When they had reached sight of 
White Blufifs on the Columbia they perceived the mistake and, turning west, 
passed through the sagebrush prairies north of Rattlesnake Mountain and 
thence by an easy and direct course to the present location of Selah and on to 
the Wenas. They followed the Wenas about twelve miles above Mr. Longmire's 


present place, then crossed the ridge to the Naches, reaching that stream two 
miles above the mouth of Nile Creek. 

Considering that this was the first party on the Naches Road, and that 
they mainly constructed their own road, they made remarkably good time. The 
crossing of the Columbia was on September 8th, and they reached Nisqually 
Plains October 10th or 12th, being strung out somewhat on the way. Mr. 
Longmire states that the immigration was greatly favored in respect to health,, 
but one death, that of James McCullough, occurring on the way. That was 
near the mouth of the Yakima, and Mr. McCullough was, in Mr. Longmire's 
judgment, the first white man to be buried in the Yakima Valley. We may 
conjecture, however, that during the era of the fur traders other whites may 
have ended their days here. 

A second section of immigrants crossed the mountains about three weeks 
after the main train. As given by Mr. Longmire, these were the following: 
William Mitchell, from whom the famous hotel at Olympia derived its name;. 
Ira Woodin, who started the first tannery in Seattle ; Mrs. Ira Woodin, Samuel 
Homes, Mrs. Samuel Homes, Louisa Homes, Frederic Homes, Florence 
Homes, Rev. Mr. Morrison and family, Mr. Shock, Mrs. Shock, William B. 
Johns ; Martha T. Johns, who became the wife of William Mitchell, and six 
more Johns children; Mr. Livingston and two daughters, one of whom became 
the wife of William Brannan, the whole family being murdered by Indians in 
the Fall of 1855, and thrown by the murderers into a well at a point near the- 
present town of Orting. Alexander Barnes was also a member of that immi- 

The only members of the train in the party that continued to Portland, that 
Mr. Longmire has on his records, were the Bakers, the Burnetts, Joseph Day 
and the Gant family, a mother and five children. 

This immigration of 1853 is fittingly commemorated by a granite monument 
a short distance from Mr. Longmire's house. It stands by the roadside in a 
conspicuous place, from which there is a commanding view of the beautiful 
and historic Wenas Valley. It was erected by the Yakima Pioneer Association,, 
and was dedicated September 20, 1917. The inscription is this: — 



SEPT. 20, 1853. 



SEPT. 20, 1917. 

As this fine monument is on the highway from the east over Snoqualmie 
Pass, one of the finest scenic highways in the United States, thousands of 
passing tourists stop to view this historical spot, and beyond any other similar 
monument in this part of the state, it fulfills its mission of educating the 
American people in the significant stages of national history. It is not too much 
to «ay that this first emigrant train across central Washington and the Cascade 
Mountains to Puget Sound was an event second only to the incoming of the 



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train of 1843, the arrival of wliich in Oregon was one of the great determining 
events in the American acquirement of Oregon. 

The incoming of this train of 1853 was so important that we feel sure 
that our readers would be glad to see still other narrations, and we therefore 
incorporate here a letter written by George H. Himes, of Portland, and given 
in Ezra Meeker's "Pioneer Reminiscences." 

The letter follows : 

"Portland, Oregon, January 23, 1905. 
■"My Dear Meeker: 

"Some time early in August, 1853, Nelson Sargent, from Puget Sound, 
met our party in Grande Ronde Valley, saying to his father, Asher Sargent, 
mother, two sisters and two brothers, and such others as he could make an 
impression on, 'You want to go to Puget Sound. This is a better country than 
the Willamette Valley. All the good land is taken up there; but in the Sound 
region you can have the pick of the best. The settlers on Puget Sound have 
cut a road through Natchess Pass, and you can go direct from the Columbia 
through the Cascade Mountains, thus avoiding the more wearisome trip through 
the mountains over the Barlow route to Portland, and then down the Columbia 
to Cowlitz River, and then over a miserable road to Puget Sound.' 

"A word about the Sargents. Asher Sargent and his son Nelson left 
Indiana in 1849 for California. The next year they drifted northward to the 
northern part of Oregon, on Puget Sound. Some time late in 1850 Nelson and 
a number of others were shipwrecked on Queen Charlotte Island, and remained 
among the savages for several months. The father, not hearing from the son, 
supposed he was lost, and in 1851 returned to Indiana. Being rescued in time. 
Nelson wrote home that he was safe; so in the Spring of 1853 the Sargents, 
Longmires, Van Ogles, and possibly some others from Indiana, started for 
Oregon. Somewhere on the Platte the Bileses (two families). Bakers (two 
families), Downeys, Kincaids, my father's family (Tyrus Himes), John Dodge 
and family — John Dodge did the stone work on the original Territorial Uni- 
versity Building at Seattle; Tyrus Himes was the first boot and shoe maker 
north of the Columbia River ; James Biles was the first tanner, and a lady, 
Mrs. Frazier, was the first milliner and dressmaker — all met and journeyed 
westward peaceably together, all bound for Willamette Valley. The effect of 
Nelson Sargent's presence and portrayal of the magnificent future of Puget 
Sound caused most members of this company of 140 or more persons, or the 
leaders thereof, James Biles being the most conspicuous, to follow his (Sar- 
gent's) leadership. At length the Umatilla camp ground was reached, which 
was situated about three miles below the present city of Pendleton. From 
that point the company headed for old Fort Walla Walla (Wallula of today), 
on the Columbia River. It was understood that there would be no difficulty in 
crossing, but no boat was found. Hence, a flatboat was made by whipsawing 
lumber out of driftwood. Then we went up the Yakima River, crossing it 
eight times. Then to the Natchess River, through the sagebrush, frequently 
as high as a covered wagon, which had to be cut down before we could pass 
through it. On September 15th we reached the mountains and found that 
there was no road, nothing but an Indian trail to follow. Indeed, there was 


no road whatever after leaving the Cokmibia, and nothing but a trail from the 
Umatilla to the Columbia; and being an open country, we had no particular 
difficulty in making headway, but I remember all hands felt quite serious the 
night we camped in the edge of the timber, the first of any consequence that 
we had seen, on the night of the 15th of September. Sargent said he knew 
the settlers had started to make a road, and could not understand why it was 
not completed ; and since his parents, brother and sisters were in the company, 
most of us believed that he did not intend to deceive. However, there was no 
course to pursue but to go forward. So we pushed on as best we could, follow- 
ing the bed of the stream part of the time, first on one bank and then on the 
other. Every little ways we would reach a point too difficult to pass ; then we 
would go to the high ground and cut our way through the timber, frequently 
not making more than two or three miles a day. Altogether, the Natchess was 
crossed sixty-eight times. On this journey there was a stretch of fifty miles 
without a blade of grass the sole subsistence of cattle and horses being browse 
from young maple and alder trees, which was not very filling, to say the least. 
In making the road every person from ten years old up lent a hand, and there 
is where your humble servant had his first lessons in trail making, bare footed 
to boot, but not much, if any, worse off than many others. It was certainly a 
strenuous time for the women, and many were the forebodings indulged in as 
to the probability of getting safely through. One woman, 'Aunt Pop,' as she 
was called — one of the Woolery women — would break down and shed tears 
now and then ; but in the midst of her weeping she would rally, and by some 
quaint remark or funny story, would cause everybody in her vicinity to forget 
their troubles. 

"In due time the summit of the Cascades was reached. Here there was a 
small prairie — really, it was an old burn that had not grown up to timber of 
any size. Now it was October, about the 8th of the month, and bitter cold 
to the youth with bare feet and fringed pants extending half-way down from 
knees to feet. My father and the teams had left camp and gone across the 
little burn, where most of the company was assembled, apparently debating 
about the next movement to make. And no wonder; for as we came across we 
saw the cause of the delay. For a sheer thirty feet or more there was an 
almost perpendicular bluff, and the only way to go forward was by that way, 
as was demonstrated by an examination all about the vicinity. Heavy timber 
at all other points precluded the possibility of getting on by any other route. 
So the longest rope in the company was stretched down the cliff, leaving just 
enough to be used twice around a small tree which stood on the brink of the 
precipice-; but it was found to be altogether too short. Then James Biles 
said : 'Kill one of the poorest of my steers and make his hide into a rope and 
attach it to the one you have.' Three animals were slaughtered before a rope 
could be secured long enough to let the wagons down to a point where they 
would stand up. Then one yoke of oxen was hitched to a wagon, and, by 
locking all wheels and hitching on small logs with projecting limbs, it was 
taken down to a stream then known as 'Greenwater.' It took the best part of 
two days to make this descent. There were thirty-six wagons belonging to the 
company, but two of them with a small quantity of provisions, were wrecked 


on this hill. The wagons could have been dispensed with without much loss. 
Not so the provisions, scanty as they were, as the company came to be in sore 
straits for food before the White River prairie was reached, probably South 
Prairie of today, where food supplies were first obtained, consisting of potatoes 
without salt for the first meal. Another trying experience was the ascent of 
Mud Mountain in a drenching rain, with the strength of a dozen yoke of oxen 
attached to one wagon, with scarcely anything in it save camp equipment, and 
taxing the strength of the teams to the utmost. But all trials came to an end 
when the company reached a point six miles from Steilacoom, about October 
17th, and got some good, fat beef and plenty of potatoes, and even flour, mainly 
through the kindness of Dr. W. F. Tolmie. The change from salmon skins 
was gratifying. 

"And now a word about the wagon road that had been cut through to 
Greenwater. There, it seems, according to a statement made to me a number 
of years ago by James Longmire, and confirmed by W. O. Bush, one of the 
workers, an Indian from the east side of the mountains, met the road workers, 
who inquired of him whether there was any 'Boston men' coming through. 
He replied, 'Wake' — no. Further inquiry satisfied the road builders that the 
Indian was truthful, hence they at once returned to the settlements, only to 
be greatly astonished two weeks later to find a weary, bedraggled, forlorn, 
hungry and footsore company of people of both sexes, from the babe in arms — 
my sister was perhaps the youngest, eleven months old, when we ceased travel- 
ing — to the man of fifty-five years, but all rejoicing to think that after trials 
indescribable they had at last reached the 'Promised Land.' 

"Mrs. James Longmire says that soon after descending the big hill from 
the summif, perhaps early the next day, as she was a few hundred yards in 
advance of the teams, leading her little girl three years and two months old, 
and carrying her baby boy, then fifteen months old, she remembers meeting 
a man coming toward the immigrants leading a pack animal, who said to her: 
'Good God Almighty, woman, where did you com.e from? Is there any more? 
Why, you can never get through this way. You will have to turn back. There 
is not a blade of grass for fifty miles.' She replied: 'We can't go back; we've 
got to go forward.' 

"Soon he ascended the hill by a long detour and gave supplies to the immi- 
grants. Mrs. Longmire says she remembers hearing this man, called 'Andy,' 
and is of the opinion that it was Andy Burge. 

"When the immigrant party got to a point supposed to be about six miles 
from Steilacoom, or possibly near the cabin of John Lackey, it camped. Vege- 
tables were given them by Lackey, and also by a man named Mahon. Doctor 
Tolmie gave a beef. When that was sent to the camp the Doctor gave it in 
charge of Mrs. Mary Ann Woolery — 'Atmt Pop' — and instructed her to keep 
it intact until the two oldest men in the company came in, and that they were 
to djvide it evenly. Soon a man came with a knife and said he was going to 
have some meat. Mrs. Woolery said: 'No, sir.' He replied: 'I am hungry, 
and I am going to have some of it.' In response she said : 'So are the rest of 
us hungry ; but that man said I was not to allow anyone to touch it until the two 
oldest men came into camp, and they would divide it evenly.' He said: 'I 


can't wait for that.' She said: 'You will have to.' He then said: 'By what 
authority?' 'There is my authority,' holding up her fist— she weighed a hun- 
dred pounds then — and she said: 'You touch that meat and I'll take that ox 
bow to you,' grabbing hold of one. The man then subsided. Soon the two 
■oldest men came into camp. The meat was divided according to Doctor Tolmie's 
■directions, and, with the vegetables that had been given by the settlers, all 
hands had an old-fashioned boiled supper — the first for many a day. 

"I know from experience just what such a supper meant to that camp and 
.how it tasted. God bless that company. I came to know nearly all of them 
personally, and a bigger hearted set never lived. They earned the right to be 
■called Pioneers in the true sense of the word, but a large percentage have gone 
on to pleasant paths, where the remainder of us are soon to be joined in 
■enduring fellowship." 

In this book Mr. Meeker gives a story of Mr. Himes, who was the ten- 
year-old boy referred to, so interesting that it also is given here as illustrative 
of those strenuous times of '53. 

"The struggle over that ten miles, where to a certain extent each party 
became so intent on its particular surroundings as to forget all else, the women 
and children were left to take care of themselves while the husbands tugged 
at the wagons. I now have in mind to relate the experience of one of these 
mothers with a ten-year-old boy, one child of four years and another of eight 

"Part of the time these people traveled on the old 'trail and part on the 
newly-cut road, and by some means fell behind the wagons, which forded that 
turbulent, dangerous stream. White River, before they reached the bank, and 
were out of sight, not knowing but the woman and children were ahead. 

"I wish every little boy of ten years of age of this great state, or, for that 
matter, twenty years old or more, could read and profit by what I am now 
going to relate, especially if that little or big boy at times thinks he is having 
a hard time because he is asked to help his mother or father at odd times, or 
perchance to put in a good solid day's work on Saturday, instead of spending 
it as a holiday ; or, if he has a cow to milk or wood to split, or anything that is 
work, to make him bewail his fate for having such a hard lime in life. I think 
the reading of the experience of this little ten-year-old boy, with his mother 
and two smaller children, would encourage him to feel more cheerful and more 
content with his lot. 

"As I have said, the wagons had passed on, and there these four people 
were on the right bank of the river while their whole company was on the 
opposite bank and had left them there alone. 

"A large fallen tree reached across the river, but the top on the farther 
side lay so close to the water that a constant trembling and swaying made the 
trip dangerous. 

"Npne of them had eaten anything since the previous day, and but a scant 
supply then ; but the boy resolutely shouldered the four-year-old and safely 
deposited him on the other side. He next took the baby across, then came the 

" 'I can't go !' she exclaimed ; 'it makes me so dizzy.' 


■"'Put one hand over your eyes, mother, and take hold of me with the 
other,' said the boy ; and so they began to move out sideways on the log, a half- 
step at a time. 

" 'Hold steady, mother ; we are nearly over.' 

" 'Oh, I am gone !' was the only response, as she lost her balance and fell 
into the river, but happily so near the farther bank that the little boy was able 
to catch a bush with one hand that hung over the bank, while holding on to 
his mother with the other, and so she was saved. 

"It was then nearly dark, and without any knowledge of how far it was 
to camp, the little party started on the road, only tarrying long enough on the 
bank of the river for the mother to wring the water out of her skirts, the boy 
■carrying the baby while the four-year-old walked beside his mother. After 
nearly two miles of travel and ascending a very steep hill, it being now dark, 
the glimmer of camp lights came in view; but the mother could see nothing, 
for she fell senseless, utterly prostrated. 

"I have been up and down that hill a number of times, and do not wonder 
"the poor woman fell senseless after the effort to reach the top. The great 
vi^onder is that she should have been able to go as far as she did. The incident 
illustrates how the will power can nerve one up to extraordinary achievements, 
hut when the object is attained and the danger is past, then the power is 
measurably lost, as in this case, when the good woman came to know they were 
safe. The boy hurried his two little brothers into camp, calling for help to 
rescue his mother. The appeal was promptly responded to, the woman being 
■carried into camp and tenderly cared for until she revived. 

"Being asked if he did not want something to eat, the boy said 'he had 
forgot all about it,' and further, 'he didn't see anything to eat, anyway;' where- 
upon someone with a stick began to uncover some roasted potatoes, which 
he has decided was the best meal he had ever eaten, even to this day. 

"This is a plain recital of actual occurrences, without exaggeration, obtained 
from the parties themselves and corroborated by numerous living witnesses." 

Aside from the interest which gathers around the immigration of 1853 
itself, there are two other special associations which make the year memorable. 
One of these is indicated by the words upon the Wenas monument, that is, 
"McClellan's Headquarters." 

In 1853 George B. McClellan, subsequently Commander-in-Chief of the 
Army of the Potomac, was in charge of an engineering party seeking a railroad 
route through the Cascades. Governor I. I. Stevens, the first Governor of 
Washington Territory, had formed the far-seeing conception of a great 
■northern railroad. With tremendous energy he entered upon the exploration of 
such ? route. It is interesting to note that the route of the present Northern 
Pacific Railroad follows nearly the course which Governor Stevens outlined 
at that time. McClellan was in command of one of the parties under Stevens. 
In view of their subsequent relations, McClellan the commander and Stevens 
the subordinate, it is interesting to recall that at various places Stevens rebukes 
McClellan for lack of bold enterprise in carrying on the survey. In the Civil 
War, it will be recalled, McClellan failed as commander against Lee, through 


excess of caution, while Stievens died as a hero, perhaps as the result of an 
excess of boldness, upon the bloody field of Chantilly. 

The other connection with 1853 in Yakima is found in that incomparable 
book, "Canoe and Saddle," by Theodore Winthrop. Winthrop made a journey 
alone except for Indians, some of whom were eager to help him "shuffle ofif this 
mortal coil," from Port Townsend to The Dalles via the "Nachchese" (as he 
spells it), "Atinam" (as he spells that), and the "Klickatat" (as he spells that), 
to The Dalles. This is altogether the most brilliant book written by any traveler 
through Old Oregon, and is in the same class in literature with Irving's eloquent 
descriptions of scenes which he did not see. 


A chapter from "Canoe and Saddle," describing some scenery of very- 
high order, and also some adventures which came near to being of very low 
order, may interest our readers just at this stage of the story. 

"People, cloddish, stagnant, and mundane, such as most of us are, pretend 
to prefer sunset to sunrise, just as we fancy the past greater than the present,, 
and repose nobler than action. Few are radical enough in thought to per- 
ceive the great equalities of beauty and goodness in phenomena of nature or 
conditions of life. Now, I saw a sunrise after my night by the Nachchese^ 
which, on the side of sunrise, it is my duty to mention. 

"Having, therefore, put in my fact, that on a morning of August, in the 
latter half of the Nineteenth Century, sunrise did its duty with splendor, I have 
also done my duty as an observer. The simple statement of a fact is enough 
for the imaginative, who will reproduce it for themselves, according to their 
experience ; the docile unimaginative will buy alarm-clocks and study dawns. 
Yet I give a few coarse details as a work of supererogation. 

"If I had slept but faintly, the cobble-stones had purveyed me a substitute 
for sleep by hammering me senseless; so that when the chill before dawn smote 
me, and I became conscious, I felt that I needed consolation. Consolation 
came. I saw over against me, across the river, a hill, blue as hope, and seem- 
ingly far away in the gray distance. Light flushed upward from the horizon,, 
meeting no obstacles of cloud, to be kindled and burnt away into white ashi- 
ness. Light came up the valley over the dark, surging hills. Full in the teeth 
of the gale it came, strong in its delicacy, surely victorious, as a fine scimitar 
against a blundering bludgeon. Where light and wind met on the crest of an 
earth billow, there the hill opposite was drawing nearer, and all the deep 
scintillating purple, rich as the gold powdered robe of an Eastern queen. As 
daylight grew older, it was strong enough to paint detail without sacrificing- 
efifect; the hill took its place of neighborhood, upright and bold, a precipitous 
front of warm, brown basalt, with long cavities, freshly cleft, where prisms 
had fallen, striping the brown with yellow. First upon the summit of this cliflf 
the sunbeams alighted. Thence they pounced upon the river, and were whirled 
along upon its breakers, carrying light down to flood the valley. In the vigorous 
atmosphere of so brilliant a daybreak I divined none of the difficulties that 
were before sunset to befall me. 


"By this we were in the saddle, following the sunlight rush of the stream. 
Stiffish. after passing the night hobbled, were the steeds, as bruised after boulder 
beds were the cavaliers. But Loolowcan, the unimpassioned, was now aroused. 
Here was the range of his nomad life. Anywhere hereabouts he might have 
had his first practice lessons in horse stealing. His foot was on his native 
bunch-grass. Those ridges far away to the northeast must be passed to reach 
Weenas. Beyond those heights, to the far south, is Atinam, and 'Le Play 
House,' the mission. Thus far time and place have made good the description 
of the eloquent Owhhigh. 

"Presently, in a small plain appeared a horse, hobbled and lone as a loon on 
a lake. Have we acquired another masterless estray? Not so. Loolowcan 
uttered a peculiar trilobated yelp, and forth from an ambush, where he had 
dodged, crept the shabbiest man in the world. Shabby are old-clo' men in the 
slums of Brummagem; shabbier yet are Mormons at the tail of an emigration. 
But among the seediest ragamuffins in the most unsavory corners I have known, 
I find no object that can compare with this root-digging Klickatat, as at Loo- 
lowcan's signal-yelp he crept from his lair among the willows. His attire merits 
attention as the worst in the world. 

"The moccasins of Shabbiest had been long ago another's, probably many 
another Klickatat's. Many a coyote had appropriated them after they were 
thrown away as defunct, and, after gnawing them in selfish solitude, every 
coyote had turned away unsatisfied with their flavor. Then Shabbiest stepped 
forward, and claimed the treasure trove. He must have had a decayed 
ingenuity ; otherwise how with thongs, with willow twigs, with wisps of grass 
and persistent gripe of toe, did he compel those tattered footpads to remain 
among his adherents? 

"Breeches none had Shabbiest ; leggins none ; shirt equally none to speak of. 
But a coat he had, and one of many colors. Days before, on the water of Whulge, 
I had seen a sad coat on the back of that rusty and fuddled chieftain, the Duke 
of York. Nature gently tempers our experience to us as we are able to bear. 
The Duke's coat was my most deplorable vision in coats until its epoch, but it 
had educated me to lower possibilities. Ages ago, when this coat was a new 
and lively snuf¥-co!or, Garrick was on the stage. Goldsmith was buying his 
ridiculous peach-blossom, in shape like this, if this were ever shapely. In 
the odors that exhaled from it there seemed an under stratum of London coffee- 
houses. Who knows but He of Bolt Court, slovenly He of the Dictionary, 
may not have been guilty of its primal grease spot? And then how that habili- 
ment became of a duller snuiT-color; how grease-spots oozed each into its 
inheritors, after familiarizing it with the gutter, pawned it one foggy November 
day, when London was swallowing cold pea-soup instead of atmosphere ; how, 
the pawner never coming to redeem, the pawnee sold it to an American prisoner 
of the Revolution, to carry home with him to Boston, his native village ; how a 
degraded scion of the family became the cook of Mr. Astor's ill-fated ship, the 
Tonquin, and swopped it with a Chinook chief for four otterskins; and how 
from shabby Chinook to shabbier it had passed, until Shabbiest got it at last ; 
all these adventures, every eventful scene in this historic drama, was written 
in multiform inscription all over this time-stained ruin, so that an expert 


observer might read the tale as a geologist reads eras of the globe in a slab of 
fossiliferous limestone. 

"Such was the attire of Shabbiest, and as such he began a powwow with 
Loolowcan. The compatriots talked emphatically, with the dull impulsiveness, 
the calm fury, of Indians. I saw that I, my motions, and my purposes, were 
the subject of their discourse. Meanwhile I stood by, somewhat bored, and a 
little curious. 

"At last, he of the historical coat turned to me, and, raising his arms, one 
sleeveless, one fringed with rags at the shoulder, delivered at me a harangue, 
in the most jerky and broken Chinook. Given in broken English, correspond- 
ing, its purport was as follows: — 

"Shabbiest loquitur, in a naso-guttural choke : 'What you white man want 
get 'em here ? Why him no stay Boston country ? Me stay my country ; no 
ask you come here. Too much soldier man go all round everywhere. Too 
much make pop-gun. Him say kill bird, kill bear — sometime him kill Indian. 
Soldier man too much shut eye, open eye at squaw. Squaw no like; s'pose 
squaw like, Indian man no like nohow. Me no understand white man. Plenty 
good thing him country ; plenty blanket ; plenty gun ; plenty powder ; plenty 
horse. Indian country plenty nothing. No good Weenas give you horse. No 
good Loolowcan go Dalles. Bad Indian there. Smallpox there. Very much 
all bad. Me no like white man nohow. S'pose go away, me like. Me think 
all some pretty fine good. You big chief, got plenty thing. Indian poor, no 
got nothing. Howdydo? Howdydo? Want swop coat? Want swop horse? 
S'pose give Indian plenty thing much good. Much very big good great chief 
white man!' 

" 'Indignant sagamore,' replied I, in mollifying tones, 'you do indeed mis- 
understand us blanketeers. We come hither as friends for peace. No war is 
in our hearts, but kindly civilizing influences. If you resist, you must be civilized 
out of the way. We should regret your removal from these prairies of Weenas, 
for we do not see where in the world you can go and abide, since we occupy 
the Pacific shore and barricade you from free drowning privileges. Succumb 
gracefully, therefore, to your fate, my representative redskin. Do not scowl 
when soldier men, searching for railroads, repose their seared and disappointed 
eyeballs by winking at your squaws. Do not long for pitfalls when their cavalry 
plod over your kamas swamps. Believe all same very much good. Howdydo? 
Howdydo? No swop! I cannot do you the injustice of swopping this buck- 
skin f.hirt of mine, embroidered with porcupine quills, for that distinguished 
garment of yours. Nor horse can I sivop in fairness ; mine are weary from 
travel, and accustomed for a few days to influences of mercy. But, as a memo- 
rial of this pleasant interview and a testimonial to your eloquent speech, I 
should be complimented if you would accept a couple of charges of powder.' 

"And, suiting act to word, I poured him out powder, which he received 
in a buckskin rag, and concealed in some shabby den of his historic coat. Shab- 
biest seemed actually grateful. Two charges of powder were like two soup 
tickets to a starving man, — two dinners inevitably, and possibly, according to 
the size of his mark, many dinners, were in that black dust. He now asked 
to see my six-shooter, which Loolowcan had pointed at during their vernacular 


confidence. He examined it curiously, handling it with some apprehension, 
as a bachelor does a baby. 

" 'Wake nika kunitux ocook tenas musket. Pose mika maniook po, ikta 
mika memloose ; — I no understand that little musket. Suppose you make shoot, 
how many you kill?' he asked. ' 

" 'Hin, pose moxt tahtilum. Many, perhaps two tens,'I said, with mild 

"This was evidently impressive. 'Hyas tamanous ; big magic,' said both. 
'Wake cultus ocook ; no trifler that 1' 

"We parted, Shabbiest to his diggings, we to our trail. Hereupon Loolow- 
can's tone changed more and more. His old terrors, real or pretended, awoke. 
He feared The Dalles. It was a long journey, and I was in such headlong 
haste. And how could he return from The Dalles, had we once arrived? Could 
the son of Owhhigh foot it? Never! Never! Would I give him a horse? 

"Obviously not at all would I give a horse to the new-fledged dignitary, 1 
informed him, cooling my wrath at these bulbous indications of treachery, nur- 
tured by the talk of Shabbiest, and ready to grow into a full-blown Judas-tree 
if encouraged. At last, by way of incitement to greater diligence in procuring 
fresh horses for me from the bands at Weenas, I promised to hire one for his 
return journey. But Loolowcan the Mistrusted, watching me with disloyal 
eyes from under his matted hair, became doubly doubted by me now. 

"We turned northward, clomb a long, rough ridge, and viewed beyond, a 
valley bare and broad. A strip of Cottonwood and shrubs in the middle 
announced a river, Weenas. This was the expected locale; would the personnel 
be as stationary? Rivers, as it pleases nature, may run away forever without 
escaping. Camps of Nomad Klickaltats; are more evasive. The people o£ 
Owhhigh, driving the horses of Owhhigh, might have decamped. What, then, 
Loolowcan, son of a horse-thief? Can your talents aid me in substituting a 
fresher for Gubbins drooping for thy maltreatment? 

"Far away down the valley, where I could see them only as one sees lost 
Pleiads with telescopic vision, were a few white specks. Surely the tents of 
Boston soldier tilicum, winkers at squaws and thorns in the side of Shabbiest, — 
a refuge if need be there, thought I, Loolowcan turned away to the left, leading 
me into the upper valley. 

"We soon discovered the fact, whatever its future worth might be, that 
horses were feeding below. Presently a couple of lodgers defined themselves 
rustily against the thickets of Weenas. A hundred horses, roans, calicos, sorrels, 
iron-grays, blacks and whites, were nipping bunch grass on the plain. My weary 
trio, wearier this hot morning for the traverse of the burnt and shaggy ridge 
above Weenas, were enlivened at sight of their^ fellows, and sped toward them 
companionably. But the wild cavalcade, tossing disdainful heads and neighing 
loudly, dashed off in a rattling stampede; then paused curiously till we came 
near and then were off again, the lubberly huddling along far in the rear of 
the front caracolers. 

"We dismounted, and tethered our wayfarers each to a bush, where he 
might feed, but not fly away to saddleless freedom with the wild prairie band. 
We entered the nearer and larger of the two lodges. 


"Worldlings, whether in palaces of Cosmopolis or lodges of the Siwashes, 
do not burn incense before the absolute stranger. He must first establish his 
claims to attention. No one came forth from the lodges to greet us. No one 
showed any sign of curiosity or welcome as we entered. Squalid were these 
huts of squalid tenancy. Architecture does not prevail as yet on the American 
continent, and perhaps less among the older races of the western regions than 
among the newer comers Bostonward. These habitations were structures of 
roughly split boards, leaning upon a ridge-pole. 

"FiVe foul copper heads and bodies of men lurked among the plunder of 
that noisome spot. Several squaws were searching for gray hairs in the heads 
of several children. One infant, evidently malcontent, was being fiat headed. 
This fashionable martyr was papoosed in a tight swathing wicker-work case. 
A broad pad of buckskin compressed its facile skull and brain beneath. If 
there is any reason why the Northwest Indians should adopt the configuration 
of idiots, none such is known to me. A roundhead Klickatat woman would be 
a pariah. The ruder sex are not quite so elaborately beautified, or possibly 
their brains assert themselves more actively in later life against the distortion 
of childhood. The Weenas papoose, victim of aboriginal ideas in the plastic 
art, was hung up in a corner of the lodge, and but for the blinking of its beady 
black eyes, almost crowded out of its head by the tight pad, and now and then 
a feeble howl of distress, I should have thought it a laughable image, the pet 
fetish of these shabby devotees. Sundry mats, blankets, skins 'and dirty miscel- 
lanies furnished this populous abode. 

"Loolowcan was evidently at home among these compatriots, frowzier even 
than he. He squatted among them, sans gene, and lighted his pipe/ One of the 
ladies did the honors, and motioned me to a seat upon a rusty bear skin. It 
instantly began biting me virulently through my corduroys ; whereat I exchanged 
it for a mat, soon equally carnivorous. Odors very villainous had made their 
settlement in this congenial spot. An equine fragrance such as no essence could 
have overcome, pervaded the masculine group. From the gynaeceum came a 
perfume, hard to decipher, until I bethought me how Governor Ogden, at Fort 
Vancouver of the Hudson's Bay Company, with a cruelly waggish wink to me, 
had persuaded the commissary of the railroad party to buy twelve dozen quarts 
of Macassar, as presents for the Indians. 

" 'Fair and softly' is the motto of a Siwash negotiation. Why should they, 
in their monotonous lives, sacrifice a new sensation by hurry? 

"The five copper-skins first eyed me over with lazy thoroughness. They 
noted my arms and equipment. When they had thus taken my measure by the 
eye, they appealed to my guide for historical facts ; they would know my 
whence, my whither, my wherefore, and his share in my past and my future. 

"Loolowcan droned a sluggish tale, to whose points of interest they grunted 
applause between pufifs of smoke. Then there was silence and a tendency 
toward slumber declared itself among them ; their minds needed repose after 
so unusual a feast of ideas. Here I protested. I expressed my emphatic sur- 
prise to Loolowcan, that he was not urgent in fulfilling the injunctions of my 
friend the mighty Owhhigh, and his own agreement to procure horses, the 
quadrupeds were idle, and I was good pay. A profitable bargain was possible. 


"The spokesman of the party, and apparently owner of the lodge and 
horses, was an olyman Siwash, an old savage, totally unwashed from boyhood 
up, and dressed in dirty buckskin. Loolowcan, in response to my injunctions 
appealed to him. Olyman declined expediting me. He would not lend, nor 
swop, nor sell horses. There was no mode for the imparting of horses, tem- 
porarily or permanently, that pleased him. His sentiments on the subject of 
Boston visitors were like those of Shabbiest. All my persuasions he qualified 
as 'Cultus wah wah ; idle talk." Not very polite are thy phrases, Olyman, head- 
man of Stenchville on Weenas. At the same time he and the four in chorus 
proposed to Loolowcan to abandon me. Olyman alone talked Chinook jargon ; 
the other four sat, involved in their dirty cotton shirts, waiting for interpreta- 
tion, and purred assent or dissent, — yea, to all the insolence of Olyman ; nay, to 
every suggestion of mine. Toward me and my plans the meeting was evidently 
sulky and inclement. 

"Loolowcan, however, did not yet desert his colors. He made the supple- 
mentary proposition that Olyman should hire us a sumpter horse, on which he, 
the luxurious Loolowcan, disdainer of pedestrians, might prance back from 
the far-away Dalles. I was very willing on any conditions to add another 
quadruped to my trio. They all flagged after the yesterday's work, and Gubbins 
seemed ready to fail. 

"While this new question was pending, a lady came to my aid. The prettiest 
and wisest of the squaws paused in her researches, and came forward to join 
the council. This beauty of the Klickatats thought hiring the horse an admirable 
scheme. 'Loolowcan,' said she, 'can take the consideration-money and buy me 
"ikta," what not, at The Dalles.' This suggestion of the Light of the Harem 
touched Olyman. He rose, and commanded the assistance of the shirt-clad 
quartette. They loungingly surrounded the band of horses, and with whoops 
and throwing of stones drove them into a corral, near the lodges. Olyman then 
produced a hide lasso, and tossed its loop over the head of a roan, the stereo- 
scopic counterpart of Gubbins. 

"Meantime Loolowcan had driven up my horses. I ordered him to tie 
Antipodes and Gubbins together by the head with my long hide lariat. The 
manner of all the Indians was so intolerably insolent, that I still expected 
trouble. My cavalry, I resolved, should be well in hand. I flung the bight of 
the lariat with a double turn over the horn of my saddle and held Klale, my 
quiet friend, by his bridle. My three horses were thus under complete control. 

"The roan was brought forward. But again an evil genius among the 
Indians interfered, and growled a few poisonous words into the ear of Olyman. 
Olyman doubled his demand for his horse. I refused to be imposed upon with 
an incautious expression of opinion on the subject. The Indians talked with 
ferocious animation for a moment, and then retired to the lodge. The women 
and children who had been spectators immediately in a body marched off, and 
disappeared in the thickets. Ladies do not leave the field when amicable enter- 
tainment is on the cards. 

"But why should I tarry after negotiation had failed? I ordered Loolow- 
can to mount and lead the way. He said nothing, but stood looking at me, as 


if I were another and not myself, his recent friend and comrade. There was- 
a new cast of expression in his dusky eyes. 

"At this moment the Indians came forth from the lodge. They came along 
in a careless, lounging way, but every ragamuffin was armed. Three had long, 
single-barrel guns of the Indian pattern. One bore a bow and arrows. The 
fifth carried a knife, half-concealed, and, as he came near, slipped another 
furtively into the hand of Loolowcan. 

"What next? A fight? Or a second shamfight, like that of Whulge? 

"I stood with my back to a bush, with my gun leaning against my left arm, 
where my bridle hung; my bowie-knife was within convenient reach, and I 
amused myself during these instants of expectancy by abstractly turning over 
the cylinder of my revolver. 'Another adventure,' I thought, 'where this com- 
pact machine will be available to prevent or punish.' 

"Loolowcan now stepped forward, and made me a brief, neat speech, full 
of facts. Meanwhile, those five copper-heads watched me, as I have seen a 
coterie of wolves, squatted just out of reach, watch a wounded buffalo, who- 
made front to them. There was not a word in Loolowcan's speech about the 
Great Spirit, or his Great Father, or the ancient wrong of the red man, or the 
hunting-grounds of the blest, or fire-water, or the pipe of peace. Nor was the 
manner of his oration lofty, proud, and chieftainly, as might befit the son of 
Owhhigh. Loolowcan spoke like an insolent varlet, ready to be worse thaa 
insolent, and this was the burden of his lay. 

" 'Wake nika klatawah copa Dalles ; I won't go to Dalles. Nike mitlit^- 
Weenas ; I stay Weenas. Alta mika payee nika chickamin pe ikta ; now you pay 
me my money and things.' 

"This was the result then, — my plan shot dead, my confidence betrayed. 
This frowzy liar asking me payment for his treachery, and backing his demand 
with knives and gims! 

"Wrath mastered me. Prudence fled. 

"I made my brief rejoinder speech, thrusting into it all the billingsgate I 
knew. My philippic ran thus : 'Kamooks, mika klimminwhet ; dog, you have 
lied. Cultus Siwash, wake Owhhigh tenas ; paltry savage, no son of Owhhigh ! 
Kallapooya ; a Kallapooya Indian, a groveller. Skudzilai moot ; a nasty var- 
mint. Tenas mika turn tum; cowardly is thy heart. Quash klatawah copa 
Dalles ; afraid to go to Dalles. Nika mamook paper copa squally tyee pe spose- 
mika chaco yaquah yaka skookoom mamook stick; I shall write a paper to the 
master of Nisqually (if I ever get out of this), and suppose you go there, he 
will lustily apply the rod.' 

"Loolowcan winced at portions of this discourse. He seemed ready to- 
pounce upon me with the knife he grasped. 

"And now as to pay, 'Hyas pultin mika; a great fool art thou, to suppose 
that I can be bullied into paying thee for bringing me out of my way to desert 
me. No go, no pay.' 

" 'Wake nika memloose ; I no die for the lack of it,' said Loolowcan, witb 
an air of unapproachable insolence. 

"Having uttered my farewell, I waited to see what these filthy braves 
would do, after their scowling looks and threatening gestures. If battle comes,. 


thou, O Loolowcan, wilt surely go to some hunting-grounds in the other world,, 
whether blest or curst. Thou at least never shalt ride Gubbins as master;, 
never wallop Antipodes as brutal master; nor in murderous revelry devour the 
relics of my pork, my hardtack, and my tongues. It will be hard if I, with. 
eight shots and a slasher, cannot make sure of them to dance before me, as 
guide, down the defiles of purgatory. 

"There was an awkward pause. All the apropos remarks had been made 
The spokesmen of civilization and barbarism had each had their say. Action 
rather halted. No one was willing to take the initiative. Whether the Stench- 
willians proposed to attack or not, they certainly would not do it while I was 
so thoroughly on my guard. Colonel Colt, quiet as he looked, represented to- 
them an indefinite slaughter power. 

"I must myself make the move. I threw Klale's bridle over his neck, and,, 
grasping the horn, swung myself into the saddle, as well as I could with gun in 
one hand and pistol in the other. 

"The Klickatats closed in. One laid hold of Antipodes. The vicious- 
looking Mephistopheles with the knife leaped to Klale's head and made a clutch 
at the rein. But Colonel Colt, with Cyclopean eyeball, was looking him full in 
the face. He dropped the bridle, and fell back a step. I dug both spurs into 
Klale with a yell. Antipodes whirled and lashed at his assailant with dangerous 
hoofs. Gubbins started. Klale reared and bolted forward. 

"We had scattered the attacking party, and were off." 

So much for Winthrop and the first movements through Yakima. 


There was one great event in connection with the era of the Immigrants 
which may fittingly be stated here. For it, together with the incoming of mis- 
sionaries and American home-builders, may be said to have determined the 
destiny of the country. This event was the establishment of the Provisional 
Government of Oregon in 1843. This event of capital importance occurred indeed- 
before the all-important immigration of that year reached Oregon. But it was 
the natural sequence of the sparodic earlier incomings of Americans, and it 
may correctly be estimated as part of the same chain of events of which the 
immigration of 1843 was most decisive. 

The coming of population, even though in driblets, had created enough of 
a group of people to demand some sort of a government. 

W. H. Gray made a summary of population in 1840 to consist of two 
hundred persons, of whom a hundred and thirty-seven were American and 
sixty-three Canadian. Up to 1839 the only law was the rules of the Hudson's 
Bay Company. In that year the Methodist missionaries suggested that two 
persons be named as magistrates to administer justice according to the ordinary 
rules of American law. This was the first move looking to American political 
organization. In 1830 and 1840 memorials were presented to the Senate by 
Senator Linn, of Missouri, at the request of American settlers, praying for 
the attention of Congress to their needs. But, not content with lifting their 
voices to the home land, they proceeded to organize for themselves. 


At that time, Champoeg, a few miles above the falls of the Willamette, 
and located pleasantly on the east bank of that river, was the chief settlement. 
There, on the 7th of February, 1841, a gathering of the settlers was held "for 
the purpose of consulting upon steps necessary to be taken for the formation 
of laws, and the election of officers to execute them." Jason Lee, the Methodist 
missionary, was chairman of the meeting, and he outhned what he deemed the 
needed method of establishing a reign of law and order. The meeting proved 
rather a conference than an organization and the people dispersed, to meet again 
at the call of the chairman. 

A week later an event occurred which brought most forcibly to the minds 
of the settlers the need of better organization. This was the death of Ewing 
Young, one of the most prominent men of the little community. He left con- 
siderable property, with no known heirs and no one to act as administrator. It 
became clear that some legal status must be established for the settlement. 
Another meeting was held, in which it was determined that a government be 
instituted, having the officers usual in an American locality. The work of 
framing a constitution was entrusted to a committee, in which the five different 
elements, the Methodist missionaries, the Catholics, the French-Canadians, the 
independent American settlers, and the English, had representation. The com- 
mittee was instructed to confer with Commodore Wilkes of the American Ex- 
ploring Squadron, just at that time in the River, and Doctor McLoughlin, the 
Hudson's Bay magnate. Wilkes advised the settlers to wait for added strength 
and for the United States government to throw its mantle over them. The 
committee decided that his advice was sound and indefinitely adjourned. Con- 
stitution building rested for a time along the shores of the Willamette. 

In 1841 and 1842, two hundred and twenty Americans reached Oregon, 
doubling the population. 

The Americans were ill at ease without a government, and kept agitating 
the question of another meeting. But the English and the Catholic influences 
opposed this. Some diplomacy was needed. The irrepressible Yankees were 
equal to it. They determined to draw the settlers together under the announce- 
ment of a meeting for the purpose of discussing the means of protecting them- 
selves against the ravages of the numerous wild beasts of the valley. W. H. 
Gray was the leading spirit in this enterprise. In a most picturesque and valuable 
account of it, John Minto has developed the thought that the founding of the 
Oregon State bore a striking resemblance to that stage in the Roman State, 
subsequently celebrated in the festival of Lupercalia, wherein the first organiza- 
tion was for defense against the wild beasts. So the Willamette witnessed 
again the gathering of the clans. 

Americans, English, French, half-breeds. Catholics, Protestants, Independ- 
ents, all coming together to protect themselves against the bears, cougars and 
wolves. The meetings were usually known thereafter as the "wolf meetings." 

James O'Neil was made chairman of this historic gathering. With the 
astuteness characteristic of American politicians, a previous understanding had 
been made between Mr. O'Neil and the little coterie of which Mr. Gray was 
the manager, that everything should be shaped to the ultimate end of raising 
the question of a government. As soon, therefore, as the ostensible aim of the 


meeting had been attained, W. H. Gray arose and broached the all-important 
issue. After declaring that no one could question the wisdom and rightfulness 
of the measures looking to protecting their herds from wild beasts, he con- 
tinued : 

How is it, fellow citizens, with you and me, and our wives and children? 
Have we any organization on which we can rely for mutual protection? Is 
there any power in the country suiificient to protect us and all that we hold dear, 
from the worse than wild beasts that threaten and occasionally destroy our 
cattle? We have mutually and unitedly agreed to defend and protect our cattle 
and domestic animals ; now, therefore, fellow citizens, I submit and move the 
adoption of the two following resolutions, that we may have protection for our 
lives and persons, as well as our cattle and herds: Resolved, That a committee 
be appointed to take into consideration the propriety of taking measures for the 
civil and military protection of this colony ; Resolved, That this committee con- 
sist of twelve persons. 

There spoke the true voice of the American statebuilder, the voice of the 
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The resolutions were passed 
and the committee of twelve appointed, mainly American. The committee met 
at the falls of the Willamette, which by that time was becoming known as 
Oregon City. Unable to arrive at a definite decision, the committee issued a 
call for a general meeting at Champoeg on May 2d. 

Pending the meeting, there was a general policy of opposition developed 
among the French-Canadians in the interest of the Hudson's Bay Company and 
England. This opposition threatened the overthrow of the entire plan. It was, 
however, checkmated in an interesting fashion. George W. Le Breton was one 
of the leading settlers and occupied a peculiar position. He was of French 
origin, from Baltimore to Oregon, and had been a Catholic. His existing affilia- 
tions were with the Americans. He was keen, facile, and well educated. He 
discovered that the Canadians had been drilled to vote "No" on all questions, 
irrespective of the bearing which such a vote might have on the leading issue. 
Le Breton accordingly proposed that measures be introduced upon which the 
Canadians ought to vote "Yes." These tactics were carried out. The Canadians 
were confused thereby. Le Breton watched developments carefully and, becom- 
ing satisfied that he could command a majority, rose and exclaimed, "I second 
the motion !" Jo Meek, famous as one of the Mountain Men, stepped out of 
the crowd and said, "Who is for a divide? All in favor of an organization, 
follow me!" The Americans speedily gathered behind the tall form of the 
erstwhile trapper. A count followed. It was a close vote. Fifty-two voted 
for and fifty against. The Americans would have been outvoted had it not 
been that Le Breton, with two French-Canadians, Francois Matthieu and 
Etienne Lucier, voted with them. The defeated Canadians withdrew, and the 
Indians, who lined the banks of the River to discover what strange proceedings 
the white men were engaged in, perceived from the loud shouts of triumph 
that the "Bostons" had won. Though the victory was gained by so scanty a 
margin, it was gained, and it was decisive. It was one of the most interesting 
events in the history of Oregon or the United States, for it illustrated most 
vividly the inborn capacity of the American for self-government. 


The new government went at once into effect. The constitution formu- 
lated by the committee and adopted by the meeting at Champoeg provided that 
the people of Oregon should adopt laws and regulations until the United States, 
extended its jurisdiction over them. Freedom of worship, habeas corpus, trial 
by jury, proportionate representation, and the usual civil rights of Americans 
were guaranteed. Education should be encouraged, lands and property should 
not be taken from Indians without their consent. Slavery or involuntary servi- 
tude should not exist. 

The officers of government consisted of a legislative body of nine persons,, 
an executive body of three, and a judiciary of a supreme judge and two justices 
of the peace, with a probate court and its justices, and a recorder and treasurer. 
Every white man of twenty-one years or more could vote. The laws of Iowa 
were designated to be followed in common practice. Marriage was allowed to 
males at sixteen and females at fourteen. One of the most important provisions 
was the land law. This permitted any individual to claim a mile square, pro- 
vided it be not on a town site or water power, and that any mission claims 
already made be not aft'ected, up to the limit of six miles square. This law 
was framed upon the general conception of the proposed Linn bill already 
brought before Congress. The land law allowed land to be taken in any form,, 
but since there was no existing survey, each man had to make his own survey. 

The first elected executive committee consisted of David Hill, Alanson 
Beers, and Joseph Gale. Within a year an amendment was made to the consti- 
tution providing for a governor. George Abernethy, a former member of the 
Methodist Mission, was chosen to fill the place. 

Outer things were pretty crude in the little colony on the Willamette,, 
though brains and energy were there in abundance. J. Quinn Thornton ex- 
pressed himself as follows on the "Oregon State House," which he says was in 
several respects different from that in which laws are made at Washington City:. 

"The Oregon State House was built with posts set upright, one end set in 
the ground, grooved on two sides, and filled in with poles and split timber, such- 
as would be suitable for fence rails, with plates and poles across the top. Raft- 
ers and horizontal poles, instead of iron ribs, held the cedar bark which was 
used instead of thick copper for roofing. It was twenty by forty feet and there- 
fore did'not cover three acres and a half. At one end some puncheons were put 
up for a platform for the President; some poles and slabs were placed around' 
for seats; three planks, about a foot wide and twelve feet long, placed upon a 
sort of stake platform for a table, were all that was believed necessary for the 
use of the legislative committee and the clerks." 

There are several facts in connection with the inauguration of this Pro- 
visional Government of Oregon which are almost equal to itself in interest. 
One of these is that Peter H. Burnett, a lawyer and the most notable member 
of the emigration of 1843, rendered the opinion that, by the spirit of American 
institutions, the Provisional Gov.ernment might be regarded as possessing valid' 
authority. Going in a few years to California, Mr. Burnett incorporated the^ 
same principles into the government of that state and became its first governor. 

Another most significant fact was the attitude of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany. That great organization was of course opposed to American ownership* 


•and to the Provisional Government. At first, the management under Sir James 
Douglas (Dr. McLoughlin had been superseded by Douglas because of his sup- 
posed leaning toward the Americans) affected to ignore the government framed 
■at Champoeg, declaring loftily that the company could protect itself. Doctor 
McLoughlin, in his very interesting account of this, says that the Americans 
adopted in 1845 a provision in the constitution that no one should be called to 
do any act contrary to his allegiance. This provision struck him as designed 
to enable British subjects to join the organization. Doctor McLoughlin was 
so pleased with the wise and liberal spirit which this evinced that he prevailed 
on Douglas to join the Provisional Government. The family was now complete. 
The American farmers and immigrants and missionaries had triumphed over 
the autocratic government of the great fur company. The American idea — gov- 
ernment of the people, by the people, and for the people — was vindicated. The 
local battle was won for the Yankee. 

Before leaving this great epoch of the history of Oregon, it will interest 
the reader to know that Doctor McLoughlin, so conspicuous in the story thus 
far, removed to Oregon City, and became an avowed American citizen, living 
on the claim on which he filed at the Falls. Much trouble subsequently arose 
between him and the Methodist Mission people represented by Rev. A. F. 
Waller. Harder yet, Congress was led by Delegate Thurston of Oregon, to 
exclude him from the benefit of the Donation Land Law. The final result was 
that the great-hearted ex-king of the Columbia lost the most of his claim on the 
ground that he was an alien at the time of taking it. The Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany directors chose to disapprove his acts in bestowing provisions upon the 
weary and hungry and ragged American immigrants, and they charged him 
personally with the cost. This, in addition to the loss of his claim, rendered 
him almost penniless and sadly embittered his old age. He said that he sup- 
posed he was becoming an American, but found that he was neither American 
nor British, but was without a country. It is pleasant to be able to record 
the fact that the Oregon Legislature restored his land in so far as the state 
•controlled it, but this was only just before his death. 












The coming of "superior races" among barbarous ones, — which in case of 
Oregon, meant mainly the British and Americans — has been followed by the 
inevitable tragedy of war. Neither of the two parties has been able to com- 
prehend the view point of the other. To most whites, eager to seize and de- 
velop land, and impatient of the blind and childish incapacity of the natives to 
understand the nature of civilization, those natives seem but obstructions to be 
gotten rid of like any other "varmints." To the native, accustomed to bound- 
less areas of pasture land and game runs and fishing streams and seasonal mi- 
grations, the whites, at first a subject for wonder and superstitious fear and 
almost worship, became later a pestilence and an all-absorbing flood of tyranny 
and rapacity, whose main aims were to seize the Indian's land, grasp his be- 
loved game and fish preserves, outrage his women, and kill his men. The most 
tragic part of our "Century of Dishonor," as Helen Hunt Jackson has it, has 
been the fact that the real criminals on both sides were not usually the ones 
that suffered due punishment from the avenging hands of the other. Some 
lawless bunch of white desperadoes would rob some Indians or run of? with 
their women, and then the outraged Indians would go on the warpath and with 
blind fury waylay some innocent train of immigrants or fire a lonely cabin and 
scalp the helpless women and children of some frontier settler. In turn a new 
band of white men, this time probably the best of the genuine American settlers, 
would rouse themselves to defend their families and bring swift retribution 
upon 'he midnight marauders — and so they in turn would raid an Indian village 
and shoot down a bunch of men, women, and children, who had no part in the 
former atrocities and not the slightest conception of what it was all about. And 
so the blind and sorrowful history of "Indian troubles" has see-sawed back and 
forth, the criminals on both sides starting the ball rolling in order to gratify 
their lust for land or plunder or women, and the innocent victims on both sides 
paying the penalty. But what can we do about it? Philosophy breaks down 


in trying to solve the problem on ethical grounds. Obviously this splendid land 
with its limitless resources could not have been left wild simply to accommodate 
a few thousand Cayuse ponies and maintain hunting grounds for a few thousand 
primitive natives. It is easy to say that if men were rational and patient and 
philanthropic, all could have been peaceably adjusted. Undoubtedly. But that 
is just what most men, even of the American nation, are not. They are not 
rational, nor patient, nor philanthropic. And so there you are! Without un- 
dertaking to express a judgment on a subject of which many greater philos- 
ophers than the writer have failed to find any satisfactory solution, we may 
venture one suggestion. It is this: — It is a just assertion that in the conflicts 
that have tormented humanity, the higher contestant should be held to the 
larger responsibility, the severer judgment. That is just the opposite of what 
is generally done. But we submit it as an essential basis of ethics (if there are 
any ethics in this poor, blood-soaked and outraged world of the year 1918 of 
the so-called Christian era) that the civilized man should be held to a higher 
responsibility than-the savage. Generally speaking, in case of trouble between 
capitalist and laborer, the former is to blame. As between teacher and pupil, 
the teacher is usually to blame. As between parent and child the parent is usu- 
ally to blame. As between educated and ignorant, the former must be held gen- 
erally responsible. In countries so much in the dark ages as to have kings and 
lords, it may be said that the kings and lords are always to blame for popular 


A good deal of the literature of crimination and recrimination about 
Indians in this state or territory has raged around its first governor, Isaac I. 
Stevens. Gen. Hazard Stevens, known and honored by many in Yakima and 
other parts of this region, whose brave and useful life ended while these pages 
were in preparation, has given in the life of his father, a masterly sum- 
mary of the policies and achievements of that initial administration. Ezra 
Meeker, known also and respected all over the Northwest as one of the great 
pioneers, has presented in "The Tragedy of Leschi," his reasons for severe 
criticism of the Indian policies of Governor Stevens. The great majority of 
pioneers in discussing this controversy support the governor and condemn 
Meeker's criticisms as unjust and some even say malicious. Without under- 
taking to express any opinion on this vexed question it may be said here that 
the honored first governor of Washington Territory, — with his great ability, his 
tremendous energy, his far-reaching vision as to the future of this region, and 
his devoted patriotism, which he sealed with his blood on the field of 
Chantilly, — was a typical white man in the sense of which we have spoken. 

That is, he, like practically all the white men in the Northwest at that time, 
did not get the point of view of the Indians. He and they contemplated this 
country solely from the standpoint of their own race and civilization and took 
into account little or none the problem of any permanent development of the 
Indians. The two views of Governor Stevens and his Indian policies, when 
divested of prejudice and acrimony, may be found to coexist in a measure. 
For there can be no question as to his large and beneficent aims, his lofty ambi- 
tions, and his unflagging zeal in the development of the country. It is doubt- 


.less equally true that he was oblivious to the inner workings and sentiments 
of the Indians, and thought of them as merely incidental to the great task of 
making a new commonwealth of what he saw truly was one of the most richly 
endowed of all the new lands of America. 


The story of the early Indian wars of the Inland Empire is divisible into 
.three stages : First, the Cayuse War following the Whitman Massacre ; second, 
the Yakima and Walla Walla War of 1855-56; third, the Yakima and Spokane 
War of 1858-59. These in a way constituted one war. Moreover, while the 
two latter were in progress, there were Indian wars in southern Oregon and on 
Puget Sound. It would perhaps be an accurate summary to say that the twelve 
years, 1847 to 1859, composed the great period of Indian wars in the Northwest. 
As we shall see, there were two very considerable later wars, the Nez Perce 
War of 1877 and the Bannock War of 1878. The Yakima Indians took a lead- 
ing role in the War of 1855-56, and were connected with the others to a greater 
■or less degree. Among many famous leaders of the natives several may be 
•considered as their most conspicuous — Kamiakin, Owhi, and Leschi, the 
Yakimas, though Leschi's field was mainly on the Sound, — Peupeumoxmox, a 
Walla Walla, Looking Glass and HalhaUlossot (Lawyer), the Nez Perces, and 
■iin the wars of the seventies, Hallakallakeen or Joseph of the Nez Perces, and 
Sulktalthscosum, or Moses, of the Kowahchins. There were many other Indian 
■chiefs worthy of mention, some admired, others hated by the whites, but these 
■eight may perhaps be justly considered as nearest fulfilling the ideal of the 
•typical Indian chief both for good and evil. 

It is fitting that some space be given here to each of these wars with a view 
• of the results of each. First we speak of 


The Whitman Massacre was a prelude to the Cayuse War. It should be 
-remembered that, the year before the massacre, the Oregon country had, by 
treaty with Great Britain, become the property of the United States. No reg- 
ular government had yet been inaugurated, but the Provisional Government 
already instituted by the Americans met on December 9th and provided for 
sending fourteen companies of volunteers to the Walla Walla. These were im- 
:migrants who had come to seek homes and their section of land, and it was a 
great sacrifice for them to leave their families and start in mid- Winter for the 
upper Columbia. But they bravely and cheerfully obeyed the call of duty and 
set forth, furnishing mainly their own equipment, without a thought of pecu- 
niary gain or even reimbursement. Cornelius Gilliam, an immigrant of 1845 
from Missouri, was chosen colonel of the regiment. He was a man of great 
energy and courage, and though not a professional soldier (none of them were) 
had the frontier American's capacity for warfare. The command pushed 
rapidly forward, their way being disputed at various points. At Sand Hollows 
the Indians, led by Five Crows and War Eagle, made an especially tenacious 
;attempt to prevent the crossing of the Umatilla River. Five Crows claimed to 

- ( II \rij:s M \\\ 



have wizard powers by which he could stop all bullets, and War Eagle declared 
that he could swallow all balls fired at him. But at the first onset the wizard 
was so badly wounded that he had to retire and "Swallow Ball" was killed. 
Tom McKay had leveled his rifle and said, "Let him swallow this." 

The way was now clear to Waiilatpu, which the command reached on 
March 4th. The mangled remains of the victims of the massacre had been 
hastily interred by the Ogden party, but coyotes had partially exhumed them. 
The remains were gathered by, the volunteers and reverently, though rudely, 
buried at a point near the mission, a place where a marble crypt now encloses 
the commingled bones of the martyrs. A lock of long, fair hair was found near 
the ruined mission ground which was thought surely to be from the head of 
Mrs. Whitman. It was preserved by one of the volunteers and is now one 
of the precious relics in the historical museum of Whitman College. 

The Cayuse War dragged along in a desultory fashion for nearly three 
years. The refusal of the Nez Perces and Spokanes and the indiflference of the 
Yakimas to join the Cay uses made their cause hopeless, though there were 
several fierce fights with them and much severe campaigning. In 1850 a band 
of friendly Umatilla Indians undertook to capture the chief band of the Cayuses 
under Tamsaky, which had taken a strong position about the headwaters of the 
John Day River. After a savage battle Tamsaky was killed and most of the 
warriors captured. Of these, five, charged with the leading part in the Whit- 
man massacre, were hanged at Oregon City on June 3, 1850. It remains a ques- 
tion to this day, however, whether the victims of the gallows were really the 
^ilty ones. The Cayuse Indians were quite firm in their assertion that Tam- 
ahas, who, by one version, struck Doctor Whitman the first blow, was the only 
one of the five concerned in the murder. 

Thus ended the first of the principal wars in the Columbia Basin. It was 
quickly followed by another, which was so extensive that it may well be called 
universal. This was the War of 1855-56. This was the greatest Indian war 
in the entire history of the Columbia River. 

The first efforts of Governor Stevens were to secure treaties with the 
Indians. Having negotiated several treaties in 1854 with the Puget Sound In- 
dians, the governor passed over the Cascade Mountains to Walla Walla in 
May, 1855. There during the latter part of May and first part of June, he held 
a great council with representatives of seventeen tribes. Lieutenant Kip, 
U. S. A., has preserved a vivid account of this great gathering, one of the most 
important ever held in the annals of Indian history. According to Lieutenant 
Kip, there were but about fifty men in the escort of the daring governor, and if 
he had been a man sensible to fear he might well have been startled when there 
came an army of twenty-five hundred Nez Perces under Halhaltlossot, known 
as Lawyer by the whites. Two days later three hundred Cayuses, those worst 
of the Columbia River Indians, surly and scowling, led by Five Crows and 
Young Chief, made their appearance. Two days later a force of two thousand 
Yakimas, Umatillas, and Walla Wallas came in sight under Kamiakin and Peu- 
peumoxmox. The council was soon organized. Governor Stevens and General 
Palmer, the latter the Indian agent for Oregon, set forth their plan of reserva- 
tions, all these speeches being translated and retranslated until they had filtered 



down among the general mass of the Indians. Then there must be a great 
"wawa," or discussion by the Indians. It soon became apparent that there 
were two bitterly contesting parties. One was a large faction of Nez Perces 
led by Lawyer, who favoured the whites. The other faction of the Nez Perces, 
with all the remaining tribes, were set against any treaty. With remarkable 
skill and patience. Governor Stevens, with the powerful assistance of Lawyer, 
had brought the Indians to a point of general agreement to the creation of a 
system of reservation. But suddenly there was a commotion. Into the midst 
of the council there burst the old chief Looking Glass (Apashwahayikt), sec- 
ond only to Lawyer in influence among the Nez Perce. He had made a des- 
perate ride of three hundred miles in seven days, following a buffalo hunt and a 
raid against the Blackfeet, and as he now burst into the midst, there dangled 
from his belt the scalps of several slaughtered Blackfeet. As quoted in Hazard 
Stevens' life of Governor Stevens, he began his harangue thus: "My people, 
what have you done? While I was gone you sold my country. I have come 
home and there is not left me a place on which to pitch my lodge. Go home to 
your lodges. I will talk with you." Lieutenant Kip declares that though he 
could understand nothing of the speech of Looking Glass to his own tribe, 
which followed, the efifect was tremendous. All the evidence showed that 
Looking Glass was a veritable Demosthenes. The work of Governor Stevens 
was all undone. 

But later the governor and Lawyer succeeded in rallying their forces and 
gaining the acquiescence of the Indians to the setting aside of three great res- 
ervations, one on the Umatilla, one on the Yakima, and the third on the Clear- 
water and the Snake. These reservations still exist, imperial domains in them- 
selves, though now divided into individual allotments. The acquiescence of the 
Indians in this treaty, as the sequel proved, was feigned by a number of them, 
but for the time it seemed a great triumph for Governor Stevens. From Walla 
Walla the Governor departed to the Coeur d'Alene, the Pend Oreille, and the 
Missoula regions to continue his arduous task of negotiating treaties. 

This great Walla Walla Council cannot be dismissed without brief refer- 
ence to an event, not fully known at the time, but which subsequent investi- 
gation made clear, and stamped as one of the most dramatic in the entire history 
of Indian warfare. This event was the conspiracy of the Cayuses and Yakimas 
to kill Governor Stevens and his entire band, and then exterminate the whites 
throughout the country. While the acceptance of the treaty was still pending, 
Kamiakin and Peupeumoxmox were framing the details of this wide-reaching 
plot, which was indeed but the culmination of their great scheme of years. 
Kamiakin was the soul of the conspiracy. He was a remarkable Indian. He 
was of superb stature, and proportions, over six feet high, sinewy and active. 
Governor Stevens said of him: "He is a peculiar man, reminding me of the 
panther and the grizzly bear. His countenance has an extraordinary play, one 
moment in frowns, the next in smiles, flashing with light and black as Erebus 
the same instant. His pantomime is great, and his gesticulations many and 
characteristic. He talks mostly in his face and with his hands and arms." He 
was withal a typical Indian in treachery and secretiveness. Peupeumoxmox 
was similar in nature, but was older and less capable. 


In addition to this vivid description of the Yakima hero by Governor 
Stevens, we wish to insert here the description of him as given by Winthrop in 
"Canoe and Saddle." In the Chapter on Missionaries we quoted Winthrop'& 
account of the "Atinam" Mission ("Le Play House" of the Indians, near Kam- 
iakin's Gardens, the present Tampico), and the Oblate Fathers. Winthrop goes 
on to describe his efforts to secure guides and horses for his journey from 
"Atinam" to The Dalles and the statement of the Fathers that if he could find. 
Kamiakin all could be arranged. The description of meeting the Yakima chief 
follows : "When I woke, late as sunrise, after the crowded fatigues and diffin 
culties of yesterday, I found that already my hosts had despatched Uplintz and' 
Kpawintz to a supposed neighbor camp of their brethren, to seek me a guide. 
Also the old servitor, a friendly grumbler, was ofif to the mountains on a similar 
errand. Patience, therefore, and remember, hasty voyager, that many are the 
chances of savage life. 

"Antipodes had shaken to pieces whatever stitched bag he bore. I seized' 
this moment to make repairs. Among my traps were needles and thread of 
the stoutest, for use and for presents. The fascinating squaw of Weenas, if 
she had but known it, was very near a largess of such articles. But the wrong- 
doing of Sultan lost her the gift, and my tailor-stock was undiminished. I made 
a lucky thrust at the one eye of a needle, and began my work with severe atten- 

"While I was mending, Uplintz, with his admiring Orson, Kpawintz, came- 
galloping back. Gone were the Indians they had sought ; gone — so said their 
trail — to gad nomadly anywhere. And the two comrades, willing to go withi 
me to the world's end for the pleasure of my society and the reward of my 
shirts, must admit to Father Pandosy, cross-examining, that they had never 
meandered along The Dalles hooihut. 

"The old lay brother also returned bringing bad luck. Where he had looked' 
to find populous lodges, he met one straggling squaw left there to potter alone, 
while the Bedouins were far away. The many chances of Indian life seemed 
chancing sadly against me. Should I despair of farther progress, and become 
an acolyte of the Atinam Mission? 

"Just then I raised my eyes, and lo ! a majestic Indian in Lincoln green ! 
He was dismounting at the corral from a white pacer. Who now? 'Le bow 
Dieu I'envoie,' said Father Pandosy; 'cfest Kamaiakan mime.' 

"Enter, then, upon this scene Kamaiakan, chiefest of Yakima chiefs. He- 
was a tall, large man, very dark, with a massive square face, and grave, reflec- , 
tive look. Without the senatorial coxcombry of Owhhigh, his manner was: 
strikingly distinguished, quiet and dignified. He greeted the priests as a Kaiser 
might a Papal legate. To me, as their friend, he gave his hand with a gentle- 
manly word of welcome. 

"All the nobs I have known among Redskins have retained a certain dig- 
nity of manner even in their beggarly moods. Among the plebeians, this ex- 
cellence degenerates into a gruff coolness or insolent indifference. No one ever 
saw a bustling or fussy Indian. Even when he begs of a lilanketeer gifted with 
chattels, and beg he does without shame or shrinking, he asks as if he would do- 


the possessor of so much trumpery an honor by receiving it at his hands. The 
nauseous, brisk, pen-behind-the-ear manner of the thriving tradesman, compet- 
itor with everything and everybody, would disgust an Indian even to the scalp- 
ing point. Owhhigh, visiting my quarters at Squally with his fugue of beggars, 
praying me to breech his breechless, shirt his shirtless, shoe his shoeless child, 
treated me with a calm loftiness, as if I were merely a steward of his, or cer- 
tainly nothing more than a copotentate of the world's oligarchy. He showed 
no discomposure at my refusal, as unmoved as his request. Fatalism, indolence, 
stolidity, and self-respect are combined in this indifiference. Most of a savage's 
prayers for bounty are made direct to Nature ; when she refuses, she does so 
according to majestic laws, of which he, half reflectively, half instinctively, is 
conscious. He learns that there is no use in waiting and whining for salmon 
out of season, or fresh grasshoppers in March. According to inevitable laws, 
he will have, or will not have, salmon of the first water, and aromatic grass- 
hoppers sweet as honeydew. Caprice is out of the question with Nature, 
although her sex be feminine. Thus a savage learns to believe that power 
includes steadiness. 

"Kamaiakan's costume was novel. Louis Philippe dodging the police as 
Mr. Smith, and adorned with a woollen comforter and a blue cotton umbrella, 
was unkingly and a caricature. He must be every inch a king who can appear 
in an absurd garb and yet look full royal. Kamiakin stood the test. He wore a 
coat, a long tunic of fine green cloth. Like the irregular beds of a kitchen 
garden were the patches, of all shapes and sizes, combined to form this robe of 
ceremony. A line, zigzag as the path over new-fallen snow trodden by a man 
after toddies too many, such devious line marked the waist. Sleeves, baggy 
here, and there tight as a bandage, were inserted somewhere, without refer- 
ence to the anatomical insertion of arms. Each verdant patch was separated 
from its surrounding patches by a rampart or a ditch of seam, along which 
stitches of white threads strayed like vines. It as a gerrymandered coat, gerry- 
mandered according to some system perhaps understood by the operator, but 
to me complex, impolitic, and unconstitutional. 

"Yet Kamaiakan was not a scarcecrow. Within this garment of disjunc- 
tive conjunction he stood a chieftainly man. He had the advantage of an im- 
posing presence and bearing, and above all a good face, a well-lighted Pharos 
at the top of his colossal frame. We generally recognize whether there is a man 
looking at us from behind what he chances to use for eyes, and when we detect 
the man, we are cheered or bullied according to what we are. It is intrinsically 
more likely that the chieftainly man will be an acknowledged chief among simple 
savages, than in any of the transitional phases of civilization preceding the edu- 
cated simplicity of social life, whither we now tend. Kamaiakan, in order to 
be chiefest chief of the Yakimas, must be clever enough to master the dodges 
of salmon and the will of wayward mustangs; or like Fine-Ear, he must know 
where kamas bulbs are mining a passage for their sprouts; or he must be able 
to tramp farther and fare better than his fellows; or, by a certain tamanous 
that is in him, he must have power to persuade or convince, to win or over- 
bear. He must be best as a hunter, a horseman, a warrior, an orator. These 


are attributes not heritable; if Kamaiakan Junior is a nature's nobody, he takes 
no permanent benefit by his parentage." 

Thus much for Winthrop's view of the "Last Hero of the Yakimas." 

The opposite of Kamiakin and Peupeumoxmox in conception of the situa- 
tion was Halhaltlossot or Lawyer, the Solon of the Nez Perces. When Lawyer 
became convinced that the Yakimas and Cayuses were planning to exterminate 
the Governor and his party he went by night to the camp and revealed the con- 

Hazard Stevens gives a most vivid account of this event. The powerful 
opposition of Lawyer's faction of the Nez Perces made it clear to Kamiakin 
and his followers that they could not count upon such united support as to put 
through their existing scheme. The Nez Perces saved the day for the whites. 

And yet the sequel is one of the most lamentable examples of the miscar- 
riage of justice in Indian alTairs that we have any record of. The friendly Nez 
Perces saved the whites. The unfriendly faction of the Nez Perces, led by 
Joseph and Looking Glass, finally yielded and accepted the treaty. But they 
did this with certain expectations in regard to their reservation. This was set 
forth to the author by William McBean, a half-breed Indian, son of the McBean 
who was the commandant of the Hudson's Bay post at Wallula. McBean the 
younger was a boy at the time of the council at Walla Walla. He was familiar 
with all the Indian languages spoken at the council and in appearance was so 
much of an Indian that he could pass unquestioned anywhere. Governor Stev- 
ens asked him to spy out the situation and learn what the Nez Perce were going 
to decide. The result of his investigations was to show that the whole decision 
hinged on the understanding by Joseph's faction that, if they acquiesced in 
the treaty they should hold perpetual possession of the Wallowa country in 
Northeastern Oregon as their special allotment. Becoming finally satisfied that 
this would be granted them, they yielded to the Lawyer faction and thus the 
entire Nez Perce tribe made common cause with the whites, rendering the exe- 
cution of the great plot of Kamiakin and Peupeumoxmox a foredoomed failure. 
But now for the sequel. Though it was thus clear in the minds of Joseph and 
his division of the Nez Perces that the loved Wallowa (one of the fairest 
regions that ever the sun shone on and a perfect land for Indians) was to be 
their permanent home, yet the stipulation, if indeed it were intended by Gov- 
ernor Stevens, never became definitely set down in the "Great Father's" records 
at Washington. The result was that when, twenty years later, the manifold at- 
tractions of the Wallowa country began to draw white immigration, the Indians, 
now under Young Joseph, son of the former chief, stood by their supposed 
rights and the great Nez Perce War of 1877 ensued. 

For a better understanding of this singular situation we are adding here 
a valuable transcription furnished to the author by Major Jay Lynch of Yakima, 
from which it appears that President Grant had formally withdrawn the order 
creating that reservation. The whole history illustrates the unfortunate results 


of lack of continuity and stability in Indian afifairs and consequent misunder- 
standings by the Indians. 

The transcription referred to is as follows: 

Wallowa Valley Reserve. 

Department of the Interior, 
Office of Indian Affairs, June 9, 1873. 
The above diagram is intended to show a proposed reservation for the 
roaming Nez Perce Indians in the Wallowa Valley, in the state of Oregon. 
Said proposed reservation is indicated on the diagram by red lines, and is de- 
scribed as follows, viz. : 

Commencing at the right bank of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River; 
thence up Snake River to a point due east of the southeast corner of township 
No. 1, south of the base line of the surveys in Oregon, in range No. 46 east of 
the Willamette meridian; thence from said point due west to the West Fork 
of the Wallowa River ; thence down said West Fork to its junction with the 
Wallowa River ; thence down said river to its confluence with the Grande Ronde 
River ; thence down the last named .river to the place of beginning. 

I respectfully recommend that the President be requested to order that the 
lands comprised within the above described limits be withheld from entry and 
settlement as public lands, and that the same be set apart is an Indian reserva- 
tion, as indicated in my report to the Department of this date. 

Edward P. Smith, Commissioner. 

Department of the Interior, June 11, 1873. 
RespecfuUy presented to the President, with the recommendation that he 
make the order above proposed by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 
C. Delano, Secretary. 

Executive Mansion, June 16, 1873. 
It is hereby ordered that the tract of country above described be withheld 
from entry and settlement as public lands, and that the same be set apart as a 
reservation for the roaming Nez Perce Indians, as recommended by the Sec- 
retary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 

U. S. Grant. 

Executive Mansion, June 10, 1875. 
It is hereby ordered that the order dated June 16, 1873, withdrawing from 
sale and from settlement and setting apart the Wallowa Valley, in Oregon, de- 
scribed as follows: Commencing at the right bank of the mouth of the Grande 
Ronde River, thence up Snake River to a point due east of the southeast comer 
of township No. 1 south of the base line of the surveys in Oregon, in range 
No. 46 east of the Willamette meridian ; thence from said point due west to the 
west fork of the Wallowa River; thence down said west fork to its junction 
with the Wallowa River; thence down said river to its confluence with the 
Grande Ronde River; thence down the last named river to the place of begin- 

opjngl te 1 11 1 1 a e 1 h I \ Mm 

PF \( H Tl- I \ I \ OR t \PT \I\ I \( K 

YAKi.MA \VAi;i;U)i; scorT>- 


ning, as an Indian reservation, is hereby revoked and annulled; and the said 
described tract of country is hereby restored to the public domain. 

U. S. Grant. 

And now, after this digression, we resume the thread of our discourse. 

After the supposed settlement at Walla Walla, Governor Stevens pro- 
ceeded to the Coeur d'Alene and Pend Oreille lakes to negotiate similar treaties 
with the Flatheads. After concluding a treaty there he crossed the Rockies to 
Fort Benton on the Missouri to meet the Blackfeet. 

But meanwhile Kamiakin, Peupeumoxmox, Young Chief, and Five Crows 
had formed a new league, the treaties were thrown away, and the flame of 
savage warfare burst forth throughout the entire Columbia Valley. 

Hazard Stevens, in his invaluable history of his father, gives a vivid pic- 
ture of how the news reached them in their camp thirty-five miles up the Mis- 
souri from Fort Benton. Summer had now passed into Autumn. A favorable 
treaty had been made with the Blackfeet. On October 29th, the little party 
were gathered around their campfire in the frosty air of Fall in that high lati- 
tude, when they discerned a solitary rider making his way slowly toward them. 
As he drew near they soon saw that it was Pearson, the express rider. Pear- 
son was one of the best examples of those scouts whose lives were spent in con- 
veying messages from forts to parties in the field. He usually travelled alone, 
and his life was always in his hand. He seemed to be made of steel springs, 
and it had been thought that he could endure anything. "He could ride any- 
thing that wore hair." He rode seventeen hundred and fifty miles in twenty- 
eight days at one time, one stage of two hundred and sixty miles having been 
made in three days. But as he slowly drew up to the party in the cold evening 
light, it was seen that even Pearson was "done." His horse staggered and fell, 
and he himself could not speak for some time. After he had been revived he 
told his story, and a story of disaster and foreboding it was, sure enough. 

All the great tribes of the Columbia plains west of the Nez Perces had 
troken out, the Cayuses, Yakimas, Palouses, Walla Wallas, Umatillas and 
Klickitats. They had swept the country clean of whites. The ride of Pearson 
from The Dalles to the point where he reached Governor Stevens is one of the 
most thrilling in the annals of the river. By riding all day and night, he reached 
a horse ranch on the Umatilla belonging to a noted half-breed Indian, William 
McKay, but he found the place deserted. Seeing a splendid horse in the bunch 
near by, he lassoed and saddled him. Though the horse was as wild as air, 
Pearson managed to mount and start on. Just then there swept into view a 
force of Indians who, instantly divining what Pearson was trying to do, gave 
■chase. Up and down hill, through vale, and across the rim rock, they followed, 
sending frequent bullets after him, and yelling like demons, "Whupsiah si-ah- 
poo, Whup-si-ah!" ("Kill the white man!"). But the wild horse which the 
intrepid rider bestrode proved his salvation, for he gradually outran all his pur- 
suers. Traveling through the Walla Walla at night Pearson reached the camp 
of a friendly Nez Perce, Red Wolf, on the Alpowa the next day, having ridden 
two hundred miles from The Dalles without stopping except for the brief time 
of changing horses. Snow and hunger now impeded his course. Part of the 


way he had to go on snowshoes without a horse. But with unflinching resolu- 
tion he passed on, and so now, here he was with his dismal tidings. 

The despatches warned Governor Stevens that Kamiakin with a thousand 
warriors was in the Walla Walla Valley and that it would be impossible for 
him to get through by that route, and that he must therefore return to the east 
by the Missouri and come back to his Territory by the steamer route of Panama. 
That meant six months' delay. With characteristic boldness, Governor Stevens 
at once rejected the more cautious course and went right back to Spokane by 
the Coeur d'Alene Pass, deep already with the Winter snows, suffering intensely 
with the cold and hunger, but avoiding by that route the Indians sent out tO' 
intercept him. With extraordinary address, he succeeded in turning the Spo- 
kane Indians to his side. The Nez Perces, thanks to Lawyer's fidelity, were 
still friendly, and with these two powerful tribes arrayed against the Yakimas, 
there was still hope of holding the Columbia Valley. 

After many adventures, Governor Stevens reached Olympia in safety. Gov- 
ernor Curry of Oregon had already called a force of volunteers into the field. 
The Oregon volunteers were divided into two divisions, one under Col. J. W. 
Nesmith, which went into the Yakima country, and the other under Lieut.-CoL 
J. K. Kelley, which went to Walla Walla. The latter force fought the decisive 
battle of the campaign on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of December, 1855. It 
was a series of engagements occurring in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley, 
a "running fight" culminating at what is now called Frenchtown, ten miles west 
of the present city of Walla Walla. The most important feature of it all was- 
the death of the great Walla Walla chieftain, Peupeumoxmox. But though 
defeated and losing so important a chief, the Indians scattered across the rivers 
and were still unsubdued. 

We have been following to this point the movements of Governor Stevens 
in order to preserve the continuity of the story, but in order to be correct in 
chronology we must turn back a few months and take our station in Yakima, 
for here actual hostilities began. In narrating the story of the Yakima War 
the historian has the privilege of following a competent authority. 

For here we may avail ourselves of the recently published narrative by 
A. J. Splawn, "Kamiakin, the Last Hero of the Yakimas." 

Many of our readers will no doubt have already read Mr. Splawn's pic- 
turesque and valuable book. If so they will have discovered in detail the essen- 
tial features of what we must be content to give in bare outline. In order, 
however, to exhibit the conditions which in Mr. Splawn's judgment created the 
state of mind which prepared the Indians for war, we incorporate at this- 
point the third chapter of the book. "In 1853 Lieut. George B. McClellan ar- 
rived at Fort Vancouver with a party of men for the purpose of exploring the 
Cascade Mountains in the interest of the Northern Pacific R. R. His main 
object was to find, if possible, a feasible pass through this range. He was under 
the immediate command of I. I. Stevens, who had recently been appointed gov- 
ernor for Washington Territory and who was then on his way overland from 
the east with a force of men, viewing out a route for this same railroad and 
making treaties with the dififerent Indian tribes with which he came in contact. 

"When McClellan left Fort Vancouver, Indian runners were dispatched to 


the Klickitats and Yakimas to notify the tribes of his coming. The first gov- 
ernment equipped body of men to reach the Yakima country, it was regarded 
with suspicion. Skloom, a brother of Ka-mi-akin, was dispatched to the sum- 
mit of the Cascades to meet the soldiers and learn of their intended movements 
and purposes. He returned with the additional information that Governor 
Stevens would be in their country the following year for the purpose of making 
a treaty with all the tribes; that the Great White Father at Washington, D. C, 
wished to buy their lands and open them up for white settlement. Nothing 
more startling or undesired from the Indian viewpoint could have been men- 

"Upon his arrival at the Catholic Mission on the x^htanum, McClellan was 
met by Ka-mi-akin, who, together with the priest. Father Pandosy, interviewed 
him both in regard to his own intentions and those of Governor Stevens. 
Again, when McClellan was encamped on the Wenas during his exploring- 
trip through the Nah-cheez Pass, Ka-mi-akin visited him, and, imme- 
diately after, rode over to Ow-hi's home in the Kittitas Valley to inform him 
of what he had learned. They made an arrangement that when the 'White 
Chief (McClellan) reached Kittitas, Ow-hi should accompany him to Wen- 
at-sha (Wenatchee), with a view to confirming what had already been reported 
and to gaining further information regarding the probable actions of Governor 
Stevens. Ow-hi, accompanied by Quil-ten-e-nock, a brother of Sulk-talth- 
scos-um (Moses), did go on to Wenatchee with McClellan, and, a few days 
after his return home, rode to Ka-mi-akin's village on the Ahtanum to talk over 
the situation. The result of the conference was a decision to try to defeat any 
treaty with the Indians that Governor Stevens might attempt to make. 

"Word went out to all the tribes of the Northwest that the Father in 
Washington, D. C, wanted their lands for the white men and that a great white- 
chief was even now on his way out to buy them, and that, moreover, if they re- 
fused to sell, soldiers would be sent to drive them of? and seize the lands. Such, 
news naturally aroused the indignation of every tribe in Washington Territory, 
creating a strong prejudice against Stevens, so that, upon his arrival, he was 
regarded with the suspicion that would attach to a man who had come to take 
from them their country. This was the situation at the beginning of 1854. 

"During the Summer of that year Governor Stevens met several head men 
of the different tribes, including Ow-hi, leader of what was then known as the 
upper Yakima, extending from Nah-cheez River north to the headwaters of 
the Yakima. Stevens told him that he wished to hold a council with all the 
interested tribes in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon the following year 
to talk over the purchase of Indian lands. Ow-hi replied that the Indians did 
not want to sell and wished to be left alone. He was assured that, if the Indians 
would not sell, the whites would take the land any way and the Indians get nO' 
return; also, that if they refused to make a treaty with him, soldiers would be 
sent into their country to wipe them ofif the face of the earth. Stevens requesed 
Ow-hi to communicate this fact to the different chiefs, which he did without 

"When the words of Stevens were repeated by Ow-hi to Ka-mi-akin, the 
latter had exclaimed : 'At last we are face to face with those dreaded people,. 


the coming of whom was foretold by the old medicine man, Wa-tum-nah, long 
■ ago. Peu-peu-mox-mox, who has been in California, says that the Indians 
•there are fast dying off. I have traveled through the Willamette Valley since 
jts settlement by the whites and found only a sad remainder left of the once 
.powerful Mult-no-mahs and Cal-a-poo-yas. So it will be with us, if we allow 
-the whites to settle in our country. Heretofore we have allowed them to travel 
ithrdugh unmolested, and we refused to help the Cay-uses in their war with 
them, for we wanted to live in peace and be left alone; but we have been both 
jnistaken and deceived. Now, when that pale-faced stranger. Governor Stevens, 
from a distant land, sends to us such words as you have brought me, I am for 
war. If they take our lands, their trails will be marked with blood.' 

"Ka-mi-akin requested Ow-hi to bring to his village in two weeks Quil- 
len-e-nock and Apashwayiikt (Looking Glass), war chief of the Nez Perces, to 
summon him to a meeting at the village of Peu-peu-moxmox, near Wallula, at 
once. This done, he rode to the Catholic Mission, St. Joseph, a few miles 
below on the Ahtanum to tell Father Pandosy of the message sent by Governor 
Stevens. The priest replied: "It is as I feared. The whiles will take your coun- 
try as they have taken other countries from the Indians. I come from the land 
of the white man far to the east, where the people are thicker than the grass 
on the hills. While there are only a few here now,' others will come with 'each 
year until your country will be overrun with them ; your land will be taken and 
your people driven from their homes. It has been so with other tribes ; it will 
be so with you. You may fight and delay for a time this invasion, but you 
cannot avert it. I have lived many Summers with you, and baptised a great 
number of your people into the faith. I have learned to love you. I cannot 
advise or help you. I wish I could.' 

"Mounting his horse the chief rode back to the village. What passed 
through his mind at that time can only be surmised. Was it then that he worked 
out his plan for a confederacy of all the red men west of the Rocky Mountains 
for a last stand against the hated white race? 

"With his brother Skloom and another trusted man, as well as a few extra 
horses, along, Ka-mi-akin then set out for the home of Peu-peu-moxmox, 
where A-pash-wa-yi-ikt, the Nez Perce soon joined them. Here Ka-mi-akin 
repeated the words of Governor Stevens, as told him by Ow-hi, and unfolded 
his plan for a confederacy of all the tribes from British Columbia to the south- 
cm boundary of Oregon, for the purpose of resisting, if it became necessary, 
the occupancy of their lands by the whites. Both of these influential chiefs 
;gave their approval. After a day and night spent in consultation, a definite 
plan was agreed upon. A council should be called to meet in a month. The 
message from Governor Stevens was to be spread broadcast and tribal councils 
called to select head men to attend the grand council. The meeting place was 
to be the Grande Ronde Valley of eastern Oregon, a rendezvous selected both 
because of its remoteness and in the hope that the Snake tribes might be in- 
■duced to join. In order to keep the whites from learning of the proposed 
gathering, strict secrecy must be observed. 

"Couriers were sent speeding to the south at once to spread out among 
Ihe different nations, while Skloom, with another Yakima, went to the Warm 




.Springs, Des Chutes, Tihghs and Was-co-pams, with the intention also of 
visiting the Klickitats on their return to Yakima. 

"Ka-mi-akin returned to the Ahtanum alone. Shortly after, Ow-hi, Quil- 
ten-e-nock, Sulk-talth-scos-um and Qual-chan arrived in response to his sum- 
-mons and were informed of the result of his meeting with Peu-peu-moxmox 
and Looking Glass. The Yakima chief urged them to busy themselves in the 
north, east and west, in the work Skloom was doing in the Des Chutes country 
and the couriers in the south. 

"These bold men were pleased with the plan and eager for action. An 
understanding was soon reached. Quil-ten-e-nock and Sulk-talth-scos-um were 
to go north; Qual-chan to Puget Sound to meet Leschi and others who would 
look after that region; while Ka-mi-akin and Ow-hi would go east. 

"Well equipped with tough and wiry horses, and a few men along to look 
■ after them they were soon on their respective ways, full of hope. To the head 
men of each tribe they dwelt on the menace in the words of Governor Stevens 
and insisted that their only hope was to stand together. If soldiers were sent 
into any part of the Indian country and a battle fought, it should be the signal 
for a general uprising from every quarter. 

"The council which met in the Grande Ronde Valley in 1854 was the most 
noted gathering of red men that had ever been seen in this vast territory. It 
lasted five days, during which speakers were heard from nearly every tribe. 
Only Hal-halt-los-sot (Lawyer) of the Nez Perces, Stic-cas of the Cay-uses 
and Garry of the Spokanes were in favor of making a treaty with Governor 
Stevens and selling their lands. The Sho-sho-nees, as well as other tribes not 
directly interested in the treaty, said: 'We have been for many years in almost 
constant warfare with the whites and are in a position to begin hostilities at 
any time. If you decide on war and begin to fight, let the signals flash from 
the mountain tops and we will do our part ; but we will fight only in our own 
country.' The Flatheads were not represented in this council, though many 
of them fought in the war later on. Lawyer and Stic-cas hung out strong for a 
council with Stevens, taking the view that if all were in a position to hear 
•directly what the emissary of the whites had to say, war might, perhaps, be 
avoided ; but they were much in the minority. 

"All of the interested chiefs, except these two, then met and concluded to 
mark the boundaries of the different tribes so that each chief could rise in 
council, claim his boundaries and ask that the land be made a reservation for 
his people. Then there would be no lands for sale, the council would fail, and 
the contention of Lawyer and Stic-cas, at the same time, be met. The bound- 
aries were agreed upon as follows: 

"Ow-hi, for the Yakimas, Klickitats, Wick-rams and So-kulks, should 
have the territory extending from the Cascade Falls of the Columbia River 
north along the summit of the Cascade Mountains to the head of Cle-El-um, 
•east by Mount Stuart and the ridge of the We-nat-sha Moutnains north of 
the Kittitas Valley, to the Columbia River and across to Moses Lake, thence 
:South to White Bluffs, crossing to the west side, and on down the Columbia to 
the point of beginning, including all of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas valleys. 


"To-qual-e-can, for the Wenatshas, that country north of Ow-hi's boun- 
dary to Lake Chelan and east as far as Grand Coulee. 

"In-no-mo-se-cha, for the Chelans, that country north as far as Methow, 
then east to Grand Coulee. 

"Se-cept-kain, for the Okanogans, all north of the Methow to the boundary 
of British Columbia with the Okanogan River for the east boundarj'. All of 
the above boundaries extended west to the summit of the Cascades. 

"To-nas-ket claimed for the Kettle Falls tribe of the Okanogans all that 
country between the Columbia River and the east bank of the Okanogan north 
to the boundary of British Columbia. 

"Chin-chin-no-wab, for the Colvilles, asked for the land east to To-nas-ket's 
boundary, including the Spokane and Colville valleys. 

"Lot, for his tribe of Spokanes, wanted the land east of that claimed by 
Chin-chin-no-wah to Spokane Falls. 

"Garry and Po-lat-kin, for their following of the same tribe, wanted that 
east of Lot's land from Spokane Falls to the summit of the Cceur d'Alene Moun- 
tains and about twenty miles south of Spokane Falls and east of the Palouse 

"Sal-tes, for the Coeur d'Alenes, claimed that part known as the eastern 
portion of the Palouse country south of Garry's and Po-lat-kin's holdings, with 
the Snake River at Pen-e-wa-wa for the southern boundary. 

"Three Eagles asked for his band of Nez Perces the land south and east 
of Sal-tes' claim to the summit of the Bitter Root Mountains and the north side 
of the Clearwater. 

"Looking Glass' and Lawyer's following of the same tribe claimed all 
lying south of Three Eagles' land, including Kam-i-ah, Craig Mountain and 
Camas Prairie. 

"Joseph, for the Salmon River Nez Perces, spoke for the main Salmon 
and Little Salmon rivers and the headwaters of the Weiser, Payette and 
Wallowa valleys. 

"Five Crows, of the Cay-uses, wanted the Grande Ronde Valley, Umatilla 
and as far down the Columbia as John Day's River in Oregon. 

"The Warm Springs, Des Chutes, Was-co-pams and Tighs asked for the 
land from John Day's River to the Cascade Falls of the Columbia and south 
along the summit of the Cascade Mountains to Mount Jefferson, then east to 
the John Day River and down that stream to the Columbia. 

"Thus a circle was completed, including practically all of the lands in 
eastern Washington and a large portion of eastern Oregon, thereby leaving no 
lands to treat for with the Government. If Governor Stevens now asked for a 
council it was agreed that they should consent, but should give up no land. 

"The spirit of war was now thoroughly aroused; the fire smouldering 
ready for the first breeze to fan it into flame. During the Winter of 1854, 
many councils and feasts were held among the tribes, at which the talk was all 
of war. 

"The leading spirit and master mind of this confederpcy, Ka-mi-akin, with 
an endurance that seemed to have no limit, flew from tribe to tribe, dispensing 
that fiery eloquence so potent among the red men. 


"Reviving the memory of their wrongs, he said: 'We wish to be left alone 
in the lands of our forefathers, whose bones lie in the sand hills and along the 
trails, but a paleface stranger had come from a distant land and sends word to 
us that we must give up our country, as he wants it for the white man. Where 
can we go? There is no place left. Only a single mountain now separates us 
from the big salt of the setting sun. Our fathers from the hunting 
grounds of the other world are looking down on us today. Let us not make 
them ashamed! My people, the Great Spirit has his eyes upon us. He will 
be angry if, like cowardly dogs, we give up our lands to the whites. Better to 
die like brave warriors on the battlefield, than Uve among our vanquishers, 
despised. Our young men and women would speedily become debauched by 
their fire water and we should perish as a race.' 

"With such words he had no difficulty in holding the compact solid. 

"When the snow had left the valleys, but was yet hanging low on the 
hills, a small party of white men rode into Ka-mi-akin's camp on the south 
side of the Yakima River, a few miles below the present town of Zillah. The 
leader proved to be James Doty, sent out by Governor Stevens to arrange with 
the various tribes for a grand council to be held May 20th. The Yakima chief 
gave his consent to the plan, and named Pasha, a spot in the Walla Walla 
Valley where now stands the city of Walla Walla, which was an ancient coun- 
cil ground, for the meeting. Doty also visited the Walla Wallas, Cay-uses and 
Nez Perces, all of whom agreed to hold the council where Ka-mi-akin had 

"The utmost effort was made by the Indians during the Spring and Sum- 
mer to gather and store all the food possible. Every woman and girl was 
digging roots, while every man and boy was catching and drying salmon, as 
well as killing and curing meat. This activity continued throughout the season. 

"But from the time of the Grande Ronde council, there had been a subtle 
force at work to defeat the aims of the confederacy. The Nez Perce, Lawyer, 
had notified Indian Agent A. J. Bolon of this council and its purpose. Lawyer 
was a far-seeing, cunning and ambitious man. With the education and knowl- 
edge gained in travel, he was the best posted Indian in the Northwest in regard 
to the strength and power of the whites. He knew that the Indians could not 
cope with them in war and that the inevitable result would be the defeat and 
humiliation of the red man. By showing his friendship for the whites he 
thought to gain advantages for his own tribe and promotion for himself. Poli- 
tician that he was, he played into the hands of the enemies of his race. White 
historians will applaud him, but from the standpoint of the Indian he was as 
much a traitor as were the Tories in the war for American independence. It 
turned out as he expected. By his perfidy he gained a large reservation for his 
tribe and advancement for himself." — Such is Mr. Splawn's account. 

Such was the state of mind among the Indians when Governor Stevens 
met them at Walla Walla. It is not surprising, therefore, that they ratified 
the treaty with a large mental reservation. It is suitable to record here, how- 
ever, that Mr. Splawn repudiates the story of Lawyer that there was a con- 
spiracy among the Yakimas and Cayuses to exterminate Stevens and his 


soldiers. He believes that story to have been invented by Lawyer purely in, 
his own interest. 

About a month after the Walla Walla council Kamiakin had a conterence 
of the principal chiefs at his place near the present Tampico. At this confer- 
ence war was practically agreed on and the warriors waited only for an occa- 
sion. The aim was to line up all the Indians of the Northwest and make a 
clean sweep of the "Shweyappos" (whites). Qualchan, who seems to have 
been the Achilles of the tribes, as Kamiakin was their Agamemnon, had been 
to the Sound to rouse Leschi, whose mother was a Yakima. 


The occasion was soon ofifered. Gold had been discovered near the Cana- 
dian boundary on the Columbia. Indians or no Indians, eager adventurers at 
many points were making ready for a rush into the "diggings." 

Among others a party of six white men from Seattle were making their 
way in spite of warnings through the Yakima Valley. At 3 point said by Mr. 
Splawn to be near the present dam of the Cascade mill company Qualchan with 
a party of five relatives overtook the whites and after a little "wawa," as the 
whites were just ready to ford the Yakima, fired upon them, killing four. The 
others were followed and soon dispatched. Mr. Splawn mentions five of the 
slain, Jamieson, Walker, Cummings, Huffman, and Fanjoy. In an address at 
the meeting of the Oregon Historical Society at Portland December 19, 1914, 
Mr. Thomas W. Prosch states the details a little differently, to the effect that 
there were seven men in the party, that three escaped and reached their homes 
and that the four killed were Eaton, Fanjoy, Walker, and Jamieson. 

It was generally believed that other miners lost their lives. Whatever the 
exact facts, white men were murdered and the flood gates of a desolating Indian 
war were open. 


A. J. Bolon, Indian agent at The Dalles, upon learning of these bloody 
deeds, started for the scene. He knew many of the Indians and seems to have 
been very friendly with Showaway, a brother of Kamiakin. Being a brave and 
resolute man and having great confidence in his power over the Indians, Bolon 
went alone, expecting to pass on from Yakima to Colville and thence to meet 
Stevens on his return from the Blackfoot country. Leaving The Dalles, Sep- 
tember 20, 1855, Bolon reached the lodge of Showaway on the Toppenish, and 
there the chieftain urged him to return at once, declaring that his life was in 
danger. Bolon followed the advice and the next day set forth on his return. 

While in the Simcoe hills at a point about twenty-five miles from the 
present Fort Simcoe, Bolon was overpowered and murdered with peculiar atro- 
city, his head being hacked from his body. There seems some difference of 
opinion as to the perpetrators of this dreadful deed. Mr. Splawn regards it as 
the work of Mecheil, the son of Showaway. The author has derived from 
Frank Olney of Toppenish the statement that five Indians attacked Bolon while 
one Indian fought for him. Bolon was a very powerful mamand'made a gal-- 
lant fight but he and his Indian helper were finally overpowered' and his headl 


was severed from his body. The place where it occurred became known as 
Twenty-five Mile Creek, on account of being that distance from the point 
where Fort Simcoe was afterwards located. Chief Stwires (Waters) gave a 
vivid account of Bolon whom he knew well, though he had no direct knowledge 
of the murder. He said that Bolon was red-headed, very strong and could 
outrun a horse, — "good man." It must be noted that the usual account, which 
we have been following, is not sustained by the only living witness. This wit- 
ness is an Indian and he has declared to L. V. McWhorter that no Indian fought 
with Bolon, that Bolon's head was not severed from his body, nor his body 


The necessary and immediate consequence of these murders was action by 
the military authorities at The Dalles. Major Rains directed Major Haller to. 
proceed at once to Yakima with eighty-four men, and at the same time he pro- 
vided that Lieutenant Slaughter go from Steilacoom with a cooperating force 
of forty men. These orders led to the famous battle on the Toppenish, on 
October 5, 1855. Major Rains in a communication to Governor Curry speaks 
of the battlefield as on the Pasco River. 

Mr. Splawn gives a vivid account of this battle. It lasted from 3 p. m. 
on October 5th till the night of the 6th. Kamiakin was tlie Indian commander, 
and urged on the attack with great daring. But Haller's men held their ground - 
doggedly and during the afternoon began to push the Indians across the north 
side of the stream. Kamiakin, having perceived the danger of a scattering of 
his soldiers by the solid massed attack of the civilized men, had sent a swift 
messenger to urge the coming of Qualchan whom he knew to be somewhere in 
the Selah region with two hundred well mounted and well armed braves. The 
messenger met Qualchan at Pahotecute (Union Gap), and under the impulse 
of impending disaster that bold warrior (the Indian Murat, Mr. Splawn calls 
him) urged his command across the plain with such vehemence that they burst 
like a thunderbolt into the battle just in the nick of time to save the day for 
the Indians. Surviving Indians contradict this and say that Qualchan was in the 
battle all the time. Night fell upon an undecided field, but Haller perceived 
that the odds were too great and during the night he sent "Cut-Mouth" John 
to The Dalles for help. The messenger managed to elude observation and 
reached Major Rains to report Haller's desperate situation. Rains sent a mes- 
sage at once, October 9th, to Governor Curry of Oregon and acting Governor 
Mason of Washington to hurry volunteer reinforcements to the inland country. 

Meanwhile on the morning of the 7th, Qualchan began a violent attack 
on Haller's little band. When night came again the Indians, confident of vic- 
tory in the morning, ceased their attack. Haller stole a-way in the darkness 
and by morning light was far up the sides of the Simcoe hills. In the Klickitat 
Valley they met reinforcements sent on by Rains in response to Cut-Mouth 
John's message. But believing the united force too small to meet the formid- 
able array of Kamiakin and Qualchan, Major Haller continued his retreat to 
The Dalles. He had lost eight men killed and seventeen wounded. Mr. Prosch 
says five killed and nineteen wounded. 


While this repulse of Haller was in progress, Lieutenant Slaughter with 
his cooperating force from Steilacoom was overtaken by a message while he 
was on the Cascade Mountains, that outbreaks had begun on the west side and 
that he must return. Obeying the order he went back to his death at Auburn by 
Indians a few weeks later. The author received from Judge Milroy of Yakima 
a thrilling story of Col. H. D. Cock, well known as first marshal of Yakima. 
Colonel Cock was in Slaughter's command, and when the order to return 
reached the command, he, with one other man, was ordered to go to the Klick- 
itat to warn settlers. The two men set forth on their perilous journey down 
the Naches and across the Ahtanum and Toppenish. Cock's companion was 
killed by Indians, but he, having a fast horse and marvelous good fortune, as 
well as much address, managed to elude them. He would alternately ride and 
run beside his horse and then hide in the tall marsh grass and bushes. By these 
tactics he finally made his way across the hills of the Satus and reached the 
Klickitat unharmed. 

Needless to say that when Haller reached The Dalles and reported the 
strength of the Yakima Indians, it was seen that the military, both Regular 
and Volunteer, were going to be taxed to the utmost. There has been much 
bitter criticism of the United States Government by writers and pioneers for 
alleged remissness in preparation for such a crisis. In the "History of the 
Pacific Northwest," of which Elwood Evans was editor-in-chief, page 535 
and on, there are quotations from the reports of Nathan Olney, Governor 
Stevens, and General Wool, indicating their comprehension of impending dan- 
ger. Governor Stevens refers to the warning which he received earlier from 
Rev. Father Ricard, then superior of missions in the Yakima and Cayuse coun- 
tries, that the Indians meditated violence at the Walla Walla council in May. 
The Governor, however, seems to have believed that he had thoroughly cowed 
the Indians there and secured their acquiescence in the treaties. Mr. Splawn 
quite severely criticises the Governor for his inability to see from the sullen 
and brooding silence of all the Indians, except the Lawyer faction of Nez Perces, 
that they were dissatisfied with the treaties and had no intention of adhering 
to them. 

Upon the call of Major Rains to the two governors for volunteers, those 
officials acted with promptness and energ}' and two companies from Washing- 
ton and nine from Oregon were mustered in. 

The Oregon companies composed one regiment and J. W. Nesmith, subse- 
quently United States senator from Oregon, became its Colonel. 


Throughout this war there was an unfortunate failure to maintain har- 
mony between the United States Regulars and the Volunteers and state gov- 
ernments. These bitter controversies would constitute a book in themselves 
and we can devote no more time to them than to say that they gave a certain 
form and direction to the events of the entire period. 

The two companies of Washington Volunteers were mustered into the 
service of the United States, but the Oregon regiment declined this disposition 

photo by J. \V. Lang-don 





and maintained independence of action. Governor Curry, indeed, enjoined 
upon the Oregon force that they should, "so far as practicable, act in conjunc- 
tion with Major Rains, chief in command.Qf the United States troops, and, at 
the same time keeping your command a distinct one, afford him a cordial coop- 
eration." In order to avoid the awkward situation from Major Rains having 
a rank technically inferior to that of Colonel Nesmith, acting Governor Mason 
commissioned Major Rains as Brigadier General of Washington Volunteers. 

On October 30th, Major Rains set forth from The Dalles with 350 men, 
regulars, among whom was Lieut. Philip H. Sheridan, and volunteers, the latter 
consisting of a company from Vancouver under William Strong and a company 
from the Willamette under Robert Newell. Colonel Nesmith with six com- 
panies of volunteers acted in conjunction with Major Rains, though maintain- 
ing the independence of the command. There was a total force variously 
stated at from 600 to 700 men. 

The events of this campaign are differently given by Elwood Evans, A. J. 
Splawn and T. W. Prosch, our chief authorities. All agree that the campaign 
was a complete failure. Evans indulges in bitter censure of the regular sol- 
diers, including General Wool, commander-in-chief of the Department of the 
Pacific. Prosch declares that the expedition was a complete failure owing to 
the timidity, slowness, and ineffiSciency of Major Rains. He says that only one 
Indian was killed and he was a helpless old man. By reason of getting the im- 
pression that the Catholic missionaries were aiding the Indians the volunteers 
burned the Mission house on the Ahtanum. To quote from Prosch: "Rains 
wrote a bombastic letter to Chief Kamiakin November 13th, which, if received, 
must have astonished and puzzled him. The authorities were also astonished 
and annoyed by this military fiasco. Capt. E. O. C. Ord, a few years later a 
successful and distinguished general in the army of the Union, but in this ex- 
pedition having three howitzers to look after, at once filed charges against 
Major Rains and demanded that he be tried by an army court. Rains was 
immediately transferred to Fort Humboldt, CaUfomia, by General Wool, who 
recognized his incapacity and placed him where he at least would do no harm. 
In 1861 Rains resgined and entered the Confederate service, where he served 
during the four following years as a Brigadier General." 

Splawn does not give quite so ignominious a view of the campaign as does 
Prosch. He gives interesting details of the battle of Pahotacute or Pahquyti- 
koot (Union Gap), the field of which extended from the vicinity of the present 
Wapato to the mouth of the Ahtanum. Two monuments in Union Gap com- 
memorate this battle, one erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution, 
the other by Yakimas and friends. 

The Indians seem to have been much demoralized by the howitzers, which 
they considered a "bad tomanowas." They found, too, that the volunteers 
were bold and enterprising and fully up to Indian methods of warfare. As a 
result they withdrew in more or less confusion up the Ahtanum and across the 
present site of Yakima and up the Naches. Kamiakin retreated to the Colum- 
bia and crossed over at White Bluffs, while Owhi and others went through the 



Selah region to a point on the Columbia at the mouth of Crab Creek, where 
they lost many horses swimming the swift current. 

But though Splawn makes a larger aiifair of this campaign than Prosch 
does, he says that many Indians have told him that only one Indian was killed 
and that was at a little pond just above the old Chambers place, and that Cut- 
Mouth John was the one who accomplished this solitary feat. The monument 
inscription does not indicate that Cut-Mouth John killed that Indian. Sluiskin 
is quoted as stating that the killing occurred just east of present Fair Grounds,. 
on left side of road leading to the Moxee. 


With this inglorious end the whole command returned southward, going 
into camp on November 17th, at a point in the Klickitat Valley, twenty-five 
miles from The Dalles. Colonel Nesmith resigned and was succeeded by T. R. 
Cornelius in command of the volunteers. 

While the Yakima campaign was thus coming to a feeble and inconclusive 
end, the second division of Oregon volunteers in cominand of Lieut. -Col. J. 
K. Kelley was engaged in a campaign in Walla Walla against Peupeumoxmox, 
the counterpart of Kamiakin in Yakima. 

In the year 1855, December 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, a series of decisive 
operations took place in the Walla Walla Valley, beginning in the Touchet and 
thence onward through what is now called Frenchtown, about ten miles from 
Walla Walla, and culminating at a smooth hill near the present Blalock fruit 
ranch, about four miles from the city. The Indians were defeated in this 
series of battles and their chieftain Peupeumoxmox was slain. The manner 
of his death was singular and has become one of the most bitterly disputed 
subjects in our history. The old chief had surrendered under a flag of truce 
while on the Touchet. He professed to wish to make peace, and had been made 
a hostage by the soldiers while on their march up the Walla Walla. 

When the battle broke out Peupeumoxmox with several other Indians was 
under guard. In the height of the conflict the cry went up from some source : 
"The Indians are trying to escape!" Others shouted "Shoot them!" Before 
any one could hardly get a clear idea of what was happening, volleys of musketry 
were heard, a mad scramble took place, and in a few seconds the old Walla 
Walla chief with all the Indians except one (and he was a Nez Perce) were 
dead. Some of the best and most reliable of the witnesses, as G. W. Miller 
of Dayton, have testified that there was every indication that the Indians were 
tryin gto break away and that the only resource of the guard was to fire. 

Col. F. E. Gilbert, author of a pioneer history of Walla Walla, took the 
position in his book that the affair was an atrocious murder, the work of 
"ghouls rather than men." He was not present, but drew his conclusions from 
the testimony. 

The late Lewis McMorris, one of the most honored pioneers of Walla Walla, 
was close by, though not an eye-witness of the beginnings of the struggle. He 
related to the author a grotesque and horrible sequence of the death of Peupeu- 
moxmox, which any one who knew him must accept as true, to the effect that 


the body of the old chief was mutilated and that his ears were cut off and put 
in a jar of brandy. The brandy disappeared. It became a common thing to 
hear men about the camp bawling out, "Who drank the whisky off Peupeumox- 
mox' ears?" 

It was the common opinion that a certain lieutenant of the command had 
done the ghastly deed. The ears were taken and tacked to a public building at 

Probably no one can confidently adjudge the right or wrong of the death 
of the Walla Walla chief. But when we remember the atrocious murder of hi? 
son, Elijah, in California and that there is no evidence that he sought imme- 
diate revenge, and when we call up the testimony of David Longmire of the 
great kindness and helpfulness of the chief to the immigrants of '53, we can 
not quell the suspicion that perhaps the Indian was not the only sinner at the 
time of the Walla Walla battle. 

In March, 1856, a band of Klickitats swooped down upon the settlernentg 
on the north side of the Columbia between The Dalles and Cascades and 
nearly exterminated them. The same young lieutenant who had been in 
Haller's Battle was in command of a blockhouse on the north side of the river 
at the upper Cascades. This was Phil Sheridan, and the blockhouse has often 
been referred to as the scene of "Sheridan's first battle." As a matter of fact 
it was not strictly speaking his first. Old settlers claim that this Klickitat attack 
was the most atrocious act of the whole war. The author has been assured that 
when the volunteers reached the scene they found dead stock thrown into the 
springs and wells, the bodies of men horribly mutilated and the naked bodies 
of girls and women with stakes driven through. On the other hand old Chief 
Stwires, in whom both white and red have confidence, assures us that the 
Klickitats were always friendly. The only solution, if we accept the two testis 
monies, is that the attacks were made by Yakimas or by broken bands of rene- 
gades, and not by Klickitats at all. 

Almost contemporary with the massacres at the Cascades were another en- 
counter in the Yakima Valley. Colonel Nesmith had been succeeded, as will be 
remembered, by Col. T. R. Cornelius. The new commander had been making 
quite a campaign through the Palouse and then to White Bluffs on the Colum- 
bia, whence he proceeded to a point opposite the entrance of the Yakima into 
the Columbia. Crossing the river at that point, he went with five companies 
of 241 men up the Yakima, reaching a point on the Satus not far from the pres- 
ent town of Alfalfa. A report that a large band of Indians had been seen 
induced the colonel to order a reconnaissance early the next morning. A small 
party, of whom Capt. A. J. Hembree was one, volunteered for this service. 
Captain Hembree seems to have been skeptical of the presence of the enemy 
and exposed himself to attack, with the result that he was mortally wounded 
by a volley from ambush. A scattering battle ensued. Kamiakin seems to 
have been the Indian leader. Indeed he was apparently omnipresent and was 
the soul of Indian warfare in all directions. In all that day, though there 
seemed to be hot fighting. Captain Hembree was the only white man killed, and 
only one was wounded. Several Indians were killed and wounded, though in 


this instance, as usual, it was impossible to state the real Indian loss. Old 
Indians have asserted to L. V. McWhorter that there was no fight at the time 
of Hembree's death. Indian scouts on Satus Mountain killed him. 

The death of Captain Hembree was deeply deplored, as he was a man 
highly respected both in the volunteer service and in his home in Oregon. 


As the year 1856 went on it became clear that the growing strife between 
Regulars and Volunteers, and between General Wool and the State authorities 
of Oregon and Washington, would, if continued, go on to fatal weakness. 
Nevertheless Governors Stevens and Curry kept urging on their backwoods 
soldiers with untiring zeal. They were rewarded with a decisive victory. For 
Col. B. F. Shaw in command of 160 officers and men of the Washington Vol- 
unteers, leaving Walla Walla on July 14th, made a rapid march into the Grande 
Ronde, where they had learned that the enemy was concentrating, and struck 
an overwhelming blow. 

This seemed to end organized resistance in that part of the field, although 
atfer the usual fashion of Indian wars, the defeated enemy had fallen into 
prowling bands even more inimical to settlement than' the organized forces. 
With the successful battle on the Grande Ronde, it seemed that the work of 
the volunteers had been accomplished and on October 3, 1856, they were dis- 

Meanwhile a most acrimonious conflict raged between General Wool and 
Governor Stevens. Historians as well as participants have seldom had a good 
word for General Wool, and though some have maintained that he was a 
brave and capable commander, his record in Oregon, as well as in the Civil 
War later, seems to justify the conclusion that he was a stupid and opinionated 
martinet, not capable of large and vital views. On the other hand the general 
sentiment of settlers and volunteers was so entirely one-sided in all Indian 
troubles as to render them. unable to do justice to one who, like Wool, was 
inclined to favor the Indian side of the case. 

Another offiicer, destined to play a very important part in this Indian War 
was located in the Yakima Valley in 1856. This was Col. George Wright. 
With eleven companies he was camped on the Naches in the Spring and Sum- 
mer of the year. Some of Colonel Wright's correspondence of that period is 
so interesting that we again use a chapter in Mr. Splawn's book containing 
some of Wright's letters and other valuable matter. 

"The Regulars and Volunteers did not work in harmony during the Indian 
uprisings. Governor Stevens did not hesitate to say that the failure of the 
Federal troops to cooperate with him unnecessarily lengthened the war. The 
opposite point of view is expressed in a letter dated June 6, 1856, from General 
Wool, commander of the Federal troops for the Pacific Coast in this part of 
the country, to Assistant Adjutant-General Thomas at New York City, in which 
he says: 'Colonel Wright is now in the Yakima country with eleven companies 
well appointed and prepared, a force sufficient to crush these Indians at once, 
if I can only bring them to battle. I shall pursue them and they must fight or 


leave the country-. He has had several interviews with a number of the chiefs 
who appear to want peace, and remarks, "I believe these Indians desire peace 
and I must find out what outside influence is operating to keep them from com- 
ing in." It is reported to me that Governor Stevens has ordered two hundred 
Volunteers to the Yakima country, and that they arrived in the vicinity of 
Colonel Wright's camp on the Natches River about 17th of May. If this should, 
be true, I should consider it very unfortunate, for they are not wanted in that 
region, as there is not a settler or white man in the Yakima country to pro- 
tect or defend. Colonel Wright required no Volunteers to bring the Indians, 
to terms and he so informed Governor Stevens. The latter, however, as I 
believe, is determined if possible, to prevent the Regulars from terminating the 
war. Nevertheless, I think it will be accomplished soon.' " 

Colonel Wright, reporting to his superior officer. Assistant Adjutant-Gen- 
eral D. R. Jones, at Benicia, California, under date of May 30th, states that 
his camp is still on the Natches, and that the river is still impassable, the Indians- 
crossing by swimming their horses. 

"The salmon have not commenced running in any great numbers," he 
writes, "and hence the Indians are compelled to go to the mountains, to seek 
subsistence. It is reported that Ka-mi-akin has gone over to see some of the 
Nez Perce chiefs who were engaged at this time. I believe most of these 
chiefs desire peace, but some of them hold back in fear of the demands that may 
be made upon them for their murders and thefts. They seem to think and say 
they had strong reasons, for the outrages of the former and the injudicious and 
intemperate threats of the latter, if true, as they say, I doubt not maddened 
the Indians to murder them." 

He notes that Colonel Steptoe joined him the day before with four com- 
panies, his pack train returning immediately to Fort Dalles to bring up supplies. 
Inclusive of detachments with pack trains, Colonel Wright states that he has- 
about 500 men with him and that as soon as the river can be crossed, he will 
advance to the Wenas and the fisheries and "if I do not bring the Indians tO' 
terms, either by battle or desire for peace on their part, I shall endeavor tO' 
harass them to such an extent that they will find it impossible to live in the 
country. I am now throwing up a field work and gabion? of dimensions suffi- 
cient to contain a company or two and all our stores. This depot will enable 
us to move unencumbered by a large pack train." 

Writing to General Jones, June 11th, still from the camp on the Natches, 
Colonel Wright says: "On the 8th inst., a party of Indians numbering thirty- 
five men with a chief at their head paid a visit to my camp. These Indians 
live up in the moutains on the branches of the Natches River. They do not 
consider themselves under the authority of any of the great chiefs of the 
Yakima nation, and not being engaged in any hostilities, and evidenced a 
friendly disposition. On the following day a party of fifteen Priest Rapids 
Indians with a chief came to see me. The chief presented me a letter from 
Father Pandosy. It appears that these Indians at the commencement of the 
war were living on the Ahtanum near the mission, but fled to the north; the 
chief has many testimonials of good feeling for the whites. I have also re- 


ceived a visit from other delegations headed by smaller chiefs. They all want 
peace for they doubtless see the probability, if the war continues, that their 
own conntry will be invaded. On the evening of the 8th of June, two men 
came to me from Chief Ow-hi, saying himself and other chiefs would come in 
next day. These men brought in two horses belonging to the volunteer ex- 
press recently sent over to the Sound. The men remained with us and on the 
evening of the 9th, Ow-hi, Ka-mi-akin and Te-i-as encamped on the other side 
of the Natches River. The chiefs all sent friendly messages, declaring they 
would fight no more, and were all of one mind for peace. I answered them if 
such was the case, they must come and see me. After a while Ow-hi and 
Te-i-as came over and we had a long talk about the war and its origin. Ow-hi 
related the whole story of the Walla Walla treaty, and concluded by saying that 
the war commenced from that moment and the treaty was the cause of all the 
deaths by fighting since that time. 

"Ow-hi is a very intelligent man and speaks with great energy ; and is well 
acquainted with his subject, and his words carry conviction of truth to his 
hearers. I spoke to these chiefs and asked them what they had to gain by war 
and answered them by enumerating the disasters which must befall them — their 
warriors all killed, or driven from their country never to return; their women 
and children starving to death. But if peace were restored, they could live 
happily in their own country where the rivers and earth offered ample food for 
their subsistence. 

"I gave them to understand in no uncertain tones if they wanted peace they 
must come to me and do all I required of them ; that I had a force large enough 
to wipe them off the earth, but I pitied their condition and was willing to spare 
thern, and help make them happy if they complied with my demands. I have 
never seen Indians more delighted than these were. Five days were allowed 
for them to assemble here; to surrender everything they had captured or stolen 
frcum the white people and to comply with all my demands. 

"Ka-mi-akin did not come over to see me, but remained during the con- 
ference on the opposite bank. I sent word to Ka-mi-akin if he did not come 
over and join in the treaty, I would pursue him with my troops, as no Indian 
can remain a chief here in this land that does not make his peace with me. 
Skloom and Show-a-way, two chiefs belonging here, have crossed the Columbia 
River east of here. They are properly Palouse Indians, but their people are 
incorporated in Ow-hi's band. Leschi was here. He came with Ow-hi and 
Te-i-as, as he is a relative of those chiefs and believes he would prefer to re- 
main with them than to return to the Sound." 

Colonel Wright tells of completing a bridge "across the Natches after 
great labor," and June 11th eight companies went over it and marched nine 
miles to Wenas Creek. Leaving the Wenas at sunrise June 17th, they moved 
north, crossing the deep canyon of Ump-tan-um, where the howitzer had to be 
dismounted and packed on mules, reaching the Kittitas Valley the afternoon of 
the 19th. Colonel Steptoe with three companies of the Ninth Infantry and a 
mounted howitzer with artillerymen were left to occupy Fort Natches. Wright 


spent several days in the Kittitas country, setting out July 4th up the "Swuck," 
the march next day being very difficult, "over steep mountains and obstructed 
trails where were many fallen trees." 

"On the 6th," he writes, "we came to Pish-Pish-aston, a small stream flow- 
ing into Wenatchee River; arriving on that stream we were met by the Indians 
■who had visited me at Natches and with them was Father Pandosy. They are 
willing to go at once to the Toppenish, or any place I suggest, but express fear 
as to their subsistence, which I believe is well taken, as they can procure food 
much easier and surer when they are scattered. This is beyond question the 
greatest fishery that I have seen. I have consented for those Indians to remain 
here and fish, and later move into Yakima. Te-i-as, Ow-hi's brother and 
father-in-law of Ka-mi-akin, is here. 

"They followed the Wenatchee River to its junction with the Columbia, and 
then returned in three days to Kittitas where he reports he has about 500 In- 
dians, men, women and children, and a much larger number of horses and 

"The Indians brought in," he notes, "about twenty horses that had been 
-Stolen or captured from the Government. Left in my camp at Kittitas, Leschi, 
Nelson and Kitsap." 

Colonel Wright located Fort Simcoe in August, 1856, gathering all the 
•captured Indians at this point. He says of the Yakima Valley: "The whole 
country between the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River should be given 
over to the Indians, as it is not necessary to the whites." He was a fine soldier, 
but a poor agriculturist and not much of a prophet. 

"Major Haller with one company of the Fourth Infantry and two of the 
Ninth Infantry was camped in the Kittitas at this time, while Major Gamett 
was at Simcoe with two companies erecting temporary quarters for twice that 
number. Captain Dent was in charge of the construction of a military road 
from The Dalles to Fort Simcoe, a distance of sixty-five miles." — Thus ends 
the chapter from Mr. Splawn. 


After the battles in Grande Ronde and Walla Walla there was a period 
of indecision and uncertainty in the eastern section. During the Fall and Winter 
of 1855 and the beginning of 1856 the Indians were prosecuting their attacks 
on settlers around Puget Sound. 

On January 26, 1856, they attacked the little settlement at Seattle and at 
first gained considerable success. But this was only transient. Failure was in- 
evitable and soon came. One striking feature of this war was the prominent 
part taken by Yakima warriors on both sides of the mountains. Owhi and 
Qualchan seem to have gone to and fro with wonderful celerity. Kamiakin, 
the generalissimo on all the "fronts," travelled with restless energy from 
Yakima in all directions, organizing, encouraging, inciting, threatening, and 
at critical points taking personal charge. He was in truth a remarkable Indian, 
a veritable Hannibal on a small scale, and like the great Puni.c genius, his 


downfall was largely the result of non-support and collapse of his own people. 
While chivalrous for a wild man and not guilty of atrocities he had sworn un- 
dying hatred to the white man. 

Leschi and his brother Quiemuth were the chief leaders on the west side, 
though Kanasket, Nelson, Stahi and Kitsap played important parts. Leschi 
spent much time on the east side, and in fact this entire war might well be con- 
sidered as engineered from Yakima. After the failure at Seattle the hostiles 
scattered, and there was but one more encounter of any moment. This was at 
Connell's Prairie on the 10th of March, and resulted in an "Appomattox" for 
the Indians. The war on the west side was practically ended. Finding his cause 
lost Leschi crossed the Cascade Mountains immediately after the battle of Con- 
nell's Prairie and joined Kamiakin. But the cause of the Indians was lost 
there also. Owhi was willing to surrender, and Leschi seeing the hopelessness 
of their cause surrendered to Colonel Wright in his camp on the Naches on 
June 8th. Colonel Wright in a report of June 11th, as quoted in Meeker's 
"Tragedy of Leschi," gives a very interesting view of both Owhi and Leschi. 
In a letter of June 25th from Ahtanum Wright says that he had left in his camp 
on the Kittitas Nelson, Leschi, and Kitsap, with a small party of Nisquallies. 
He says that Leschi was the recognized chief of all those people, including 
those on the Naches, and that they desired to return lo the Sound, provided 
they could do so with safety. 

Into this bitterly disputed question of Leschi we cannot enter in detail. 
Readers desirous of full statements of the case may find them in Hazard 
Stevens' "Life of General Isaac I. Stevens," and in Ezra Meeker's "Tragedy of 
Leschi." Other works of Washington writers deal with the subject at length, 
and the reader will be bewildered rather than otherwise by the seemingly good 
evidence for the conflicting claims as to the guilt of Leschi. At all events after 
a most extraordinary series of legal and military moves and countermoves by 
Governor Stevens seeking to convict, and others seeking to acquit, the sentence 
of death was imposed and executed on February 19, 1858. Quiemuth, Leschi's 
brother, had been murdered in November, 1856, by some one unknown who 
entered the Governor's office where he was confined under guard. There must 
certainly have been most vigilant guard to have allowed such a deed without 
knowing anything about it. We follow the account here as given by Hazard 

We have no desire to pass judgment on this vexed question of Leschi. As 
a matter of historical interest, it may be said that the author has been told by 
an Indian living near Tacoma, one of the most wealthy, reliable, and intelligent 
Indians in the state, that the Indians have always regarded Leschi as a victim 
of perjury and hatred, and as in reality one of the most just and merciful of 
their race. As giving certain views of the case which the author does not re- 
member to have seen in full in any one of the books, we are giving here a state- 
ment by Lieut, (afterwards General) A. V. Kautz, well-known in military and 
civil circles for many years in this state. This is from an interview in the 
Tacoma Ledger of April 14, 1893. 



General Kautz Throws Some Additional Light on His Execution. 

There has been considerable discussion through the columns of the 
"Ledger," from time to time, especially in the old settlers' stories, regarding 
the execution of the Indian Chief Leschi. To throw additional light on the 
matter of Leschi's guilt, if not to settle it beyond question, Gen. A. V. Kautz 
yesterday gave a Ledger reporter a detailed account of his knowledge of the 
affair. As a preamble to General Kautz's narration, it may be said that he con- 
ducted the final campaign against Leschi and his followers, and after Leschi's 
arrest had charge of him through both trials and until he was finally executed. 
Said General Kautz: 

"Leschi was the chief of the Nisquallies and the leader of the dissatisfied. 
Indians of that tribe, in the uprising of '55 and '56. When I came back to the 
Sound, after an absence of two years to southern Oregon, the war was half over.. 
This was in the latter part of February, '56. A day or two after my arrival at 
Fort Steilacoom, we started out on a campaign against them. Our objective point 
was Muckleshoot Prairie, which is now an Indian reservation, between White 
and Cedar rivers. It was regarded as the heart of the country occupied by the 
hostiles. The troops separated at the Puyallup blockhouse near where Sumner 
is now. From there I marched on with that portion of the command which 
went direct to Muckleshoot Prairie. Colonel Casey, who was in command of 
the other detachment, went by the Lemon Prairie route (o Muckleshoot. My 
command reached the prairie about the last day of February. On that day I 
received a dispatch from Colonel Casey requesting me to send a detachment to 
the crossing of White River to meet him. On the next day, the 1st of March, 
I started out with a command of fifty men. When we arrived at the ford of 
White River the Indians appeared in our rear and threatened an attack. I at 
once sent a dispatch to Colonel Casey, telling him that the Indians had made their 
appearance and that I would endeavor to hold the ford until he arrived. I made 
disposition of the men on a bar of the river, among some driftwood, to await the 
coming of the troops. The Indians worked their way around us on both sides 
of the river, but were not able to make any impression on the troops lodged, as 
they were, behind logs and driftwood. 

"At three o'clock in the afternoon. Captain Keys arrived at the ford with 
about 100 men. We then moved against the Indians and they retreated. Later, 
as we were marching to Muckleshoot Prairie, they gave us a volley from a 
bluff where they were stationed. They then disappeared and we went into camp. 
One man had been killed and nine men, including myself, wounded. This was 
the last fight the regulars had with the hostiles. Soon after this they scattered 
and went off into the mountains and foothills. About the 1st of April I was 
sent out with fifty men into the foothills east of Steilacoom. We returned after 
an absence of two weeks with about thirty prisoners — men, women and children. 
We treated the captives kindly and sent some of them out after the rest of the 
hostiles. These brought all the other hostile Indians in except Leschi. He went 
over into the Yakima and Klickitat country and remained there until Fall. 


"Leschi had a wife who was around about the post at Fort Steilacoom and 
to whom he was very much attached. He came to see her, and while there made 
himself known to Doctor Tolmie of Fort Nisqually. The Doctor advised him to 
surrender himself, which he did. He was then arraigned by the civil authori- 
ties for the murder of Miller, Moses and others the year before, the Fall of 
'55. He was tried at Steilacoom, soon after his arrest, and the jury failed to 
agree. Subsequently he was tried again at Olympia and was there convicted 
and sentenced to be hung. 

"I had Leschi in charge during all the time of his confinement. He was 
imprisoned in the guardhouse at Fort Steilacoom. I commanded the guard and 
took him up to Olympia, and was obliged to be present during the trial. So I 
was in a position to know all the facts and details of the case. He was con- 
victed principally on the testimony of A. B. Robinson, who testified that while 
coming toward Steilacoom from the Naches Pass he met Leschi and some of 
his people on the edge of Connell's Prairie. Leschi was friendly, and did not 
make any hostile demonstration. They separated after a short distance, so the 
testimony ran, Leschi going into the woods and Robinson and his party con- 
tinuing on the road. At a swamp, about one mile beyond their separation, 
Leschi and others suddenly arose from ambush and fired upon them. 

"This statement could not have been true because the party traveled on the 
road and Leschi would have had to have traveled through the woods, besides 
making a detour to have reached the swamp before Robinson and his party, 
who were on horseback. Robinson claimed there was a shorter trail, which the 
Indians took, which there was to another point of the prairie, but not to the 
point where he averred Leschi fired on them. The shortest route was traveled 
by Robinson and his party, and Leschi could not possibly have arrived at the 
place mentioned before they did. 

"Frank Clark was Leschi's counsel, and when I called his attention to this 
point he recognized the fact that Robinson's testimony was not correct, but it 
was too late to help Leschi at that time. However, he made an efifort to get the 
sentence suspended, but the prejudice against Leschi among the people was 
such that the governor would not take any action, and it became necessary to 
carry out the sentence. The time was too short to communicate with Wash- 
ington and have the president interfere, so Clark stayed the execution by getting 
out a warrant for the arrest of the sheriflf before the LInited States commissioner 
on an accusation of having sold liquor to Indians. His arrest followed, and he 
was in prison at the time Leschi should have been hung. For this reason it 
became necessarj' to resentence Leschi. It was the Spring of the year at that 
time, and the court was not to meet again until December. The Legislature was 
in session, however, and they passed a law, authorizing the court to convene. 
Within a few days the court met and again sentenced him to be hung by the 
sheriff of Thurston County. He was hung near Fort Steilacoom. 

"On the date of the first hanging a great many people came down from 
Olympia to witness the execution, and there was considerable indignation ex- 
pressed by them when the sentence was not carried out. The military at Fort 
Steilacoom were accused of being implicated in preventing the execution, and 


indignation meetings were held there and at Olympia by the people, expressing 
their disapprobation. 

"Quiemuth, Leschi's brother, came in before Leschi and gave himself up 
to the governor. Subsequently he was assassinated in the governor's office at 
Olympia. This had the effect of keeping Leschi out longer than he would have 
remained unexecuted under other circumstances." 

There was one more act in the drama of this year 1856. On September 
llth. Governor Stevens met another council of Indians at Walla Walla. 

The influence of Kamiakin was so great that most of the chiefs, with the 
exception of the friendly faction of Nez Perces, remained hostile. Stevens' 
little force was attacked by a strong force led by Qualchan. Stevens was sup- 
ported by the Regulars under Col. E. J. Steptoe and the Indians were repulsed 
with loss and Stevens proceeded to The Dalles. 

Thus the Indian War of 1855-56 closed with the virtual defeat of the great 
schemes of Kamiakin and his followers. 

But now there followed a most singular outcome. General Wool seems 
to have predetermined that the country east of the Cascades should not come 
into possession of the Whites. His conception of the country is well shown by 
his approval of a memoir of Capt. T. J. Cram, a United States engineer who 
professed to be thoroughly familiar with the Northwest. We quote here from 
T. W. Prosch some extracts from Captain Cram's views (_ which were practi- 
cally Wool's) with his own comments. 

"The Captain covered all the ground in Washington and Oregon and all 
the subjects. He was unfavorably impressed with both country and people. 
Beyond a few Regular army officers and their doings nothing was very good. 
In view of what has since been done in these two states, what they are now, and 
what they are going to be and do, he could be glad, if alive, to suppress by fire 
every copy of his Memoir of one hundred and twenty-three printed pages. 
He said, for instance, that "there never will be anything in the interior of this 
forbidding stretch of country to induce the movement of such a force into the 
interior should a reasonable show of defense be exhibited by a field force.' It 
was impossible 'to defend the mouth of the Columbia River with any known 
practical system of fixed batteries.' Besides, fortifications were not really 
necessary, as the river 'mouth is always blocked by a mass of oscillating sand,' 
and 'at high tide a vessel drawing eighteen feet can seldom pass the bar.' So 
also on Puget Sound land fortifications would be useless, steam floating bat- 
teries necessarily being the weapons there. 'Sea steamers of ten feet draft,' 
he said, 'ascend the river to the city of Portland.' Willamette Valley would 
sustain a population of one hundred and fifty thousand. Portland would con- 
tinue to be the commercial center of that district, unless it were found that 
sea steamers could 'at all times ascend to the foot of the Cascades.' The vast 
region drained by the Columbia River was one which impressed the observer 
as incapable of sustaining a flourishing civilization. This, said he, 'is the 
general view to be taken of Oregon from the Pacific to the summit of the 
Rocky Mountain Range, a region only fit, as a general rule, for the occupancy 
of the nomadic tribes who now roam over it, and who should be allowed peace- 


fully to remain in its possession.' Speaking more particularly of Washington; 
this sagacious military engineer, historian, and author declared that 'the whole 
Yakima country should be left to the quiet possession of the Yakima and 
Klickitat Indians.' Also this: 'In the acquisition of this strip of territory it is 
certainly not to be denied by any sensible man who has examined it carefully 
that the United States realized from Great Britian but very little that is at all 
valuable or useful to civilized man. For the Indians, but for the presence of 
the Whites, it would ever have remained well adapted.' The document was 
replete with utterances of a disparaging, belittling, slanderous, false and absurd 
character, concerning the people, officials, soil, timber, waters and future possi- 
bilities, of the Oregon countrj' given out with high military approval, published 
by the Government, circulated broadcast, accepted in many places as fair and 
right, and with no redress to the country and people maligned, except that 
afforded in the lapse of time, long time, and the unconcern and forgetfulness 
of the great general public. Fortunately all the army officers were not like 
Wool and Cram. Many of them saw things here under more pleasant lights, 
and they bore to the end of their lives recollections of grateful character con- 
cerning the days they spent and the people they met in Oregon and Washing- 
ton territories." 

With such a conception of the situation and the country the reader may not 
be surprised to learn that in October Wood issued orders to Colonel Wright 
and Colonel Steptoe (the latter commanding at Walla Walla), that Whites^ 
with the exception of missionaries and Hudson's Bay Company employes, 
should be forbidden to enter the country east of the Cascade Mountains. In 
other words, the war now having been won, mainly by the Volunteer forces,. 
General Wool proposed to surrender the entire country to the defeated party 
and deny the settlers and Volunteers the fruits of their hard-won victory. 
Governor Stevens protested vigorously against so imbecile an outcome. He 
pointed out the fact that while the Catholic missionaries had beneficent aims 
they were attempting an impossible task and their influence in the upper country 
had "latterly been most baneful and pernicious." He further pointed out that 
the whole interest of the Hudson's Bay Company was necessarily to join with 
the Indians in causing the abandonment of the country. 


During the year 1857 the condition of quasi-peace continued, Indians in; 
possession, settlers excluded, and Regulars inactive at the forts. 

But the War Department and the Government at Washington had analyzed 
the situation with the result that Wool's policy was tried and found wanting. 
He was removed and Gen. N. S. Clarke was appointed in his stead. 

The new commander reversed the former policy, the gates were thrown 
open, and the impatient army of explorers, prospectors, cattlemen, and settlers 
began to pour in. This state of affairs precipitated the campaigns of 1858. 
Colonel Wright at Vancouver and Colonel Steptoe at Walla Walla, though 
having formerly adhered to Wool's policy, had experienced a change of heart. 
Kamiakin meanwhile was reorganizing in preparation of renewed hostilities. 


Going to the Spokane and Couer d' Alene tribes he urged that the recent peace 
between Colonel Wright and certain Indians was not binding on them and that 
they should keep the country closed to Whites. 

As a result, probably, of these machinations on Kamiakin's part, miners 
on the way to Colville were waylaid and murdered. Also a large amount of 
stock was driven from Fort Walla Walla. 

steptoe's defeat 

As a result Colonel Steptoe entered upon his disastrous expedition against 
the Colvilles. Although Steptoe seems to have been an accomplished officer, he 
appears to have had no conception of the power of these Indians or of the gen- 
•eral ability of their commanders. He had a small force, only 136 mounted 
dragoons, besides packers and officers. The fatal mistake was made, however, 
by leaving out a large part of the ammunition for the sake of lightening the 
packs! This, as the author has been told by those present at the time, was 
done by an inebriated quartermaster. 

Meanwhile the Indians were marshalling their forces under the leadership 
of the most capable and valorous chieftains. This was destined to be their 
j^reatest victory, but their last. This was emphattcally -Kamiakin's battle. The 
time was May 18th and the place the present location of Rosalia, though like 
most Indian battlefields it was strung out over a number of miles. The com- 
mand suffered severely and among the lost were the gallant Gaston and Taylor, 
whose heroic defense in command of the rear guard saved the retreating com- 
mand from utter destruction. Those two brave men are said to have been 
singled out for death by Kamiakin's special orders when he saw their efficiency 
in the rear guard action. The broken command halted with nightfall near the 
foot of Steptoe Butte, known to the Indians as Tehotami (and it is a great 
pity that the name was changed). Kamiakin made every eflfort to induce his 
Indians to be ready for an instant attack, for he realized that the Whites would 
attempt a night retreat. But sustained effort is irksome to an Indian, and the 
warriors wanted to lie down and rest. Their chance for a sweeping victory 
-was gone, never to return. For Timothy, the Nez Perce chief, was with Step- 
toe and he knew a trail down a canyon on Tehotami. Taking advantage of a 
■dark and drizzly night he led the command out of its deadly position, and by 
morning light they were half way to Snake River. 

A number were lost on the way, but the main command, with the aid of 
Timothy and his squaws, got safely across Snake River, then running high 
with the Spring flood. Had it not been for Timothy the towering height of 
Tehotami would without doubt have witnessed a Custer massacre. As it was 
it was the greatest Indian victory in the Northwest. 


When Steptoe's broken army reached Walla Walla and the crestfallen 
commander reported the results to Colonel Wright the latter perceived that 
the time for "fooling" had passed, and that they must now act with promptness 
and energy sufficient to make an end of the whole matter. Accordingly Wright 


organized two expeditions. One under command of Maj. R. S. Gamett, com- 
mandant at Fort Simcoe, made an expedition through the Yakima Valley, as a 
result of which, though with no definite encounters, the strength of the Indians 
was dissipated and several alleged murderers captured and hung. Lieut. J. K. 
Allen was killed upon the Teanaway, much lamented for his admirable quali- 
ties. One point of special note is that in Garnett's command was Lieutenant 
Cook, later a general in the Civil war, and still later one of the most distin- 
guished Indian fighters in eastern Oregon, Arizona, and Montana. 

From the upper Yakima Garnett went to the Okanogan. A few days after 
Garnett started on his Yakima expedition, Wright set forth for Spokane with 
a well equipped and determined force. At the battle of Four Lakes on Sep- 
tember 1st, the Indians were routed. On September 9th, at a point a few 
miles east of the present city of Spokane Wright captured 800 horses, a con- 
siderable part of the war supply of the Indians. 

Realizing that the loss of these horses would paralyze further operations 
by the Indians, Wright ordered the wholesale destruction of the horses. He 
was correct. The natives were now powerless and made an abject surrender. 

From this decisive victory at Spokane Wright went westward. Owhi, 
having learned of the collapse of the Spokane allies, determined to throw him- 
self upon the mercy of the conquerors. Wright was then camped at the mouth 
of Hangman Creek in the present city of Spokane. Mr. Splawn gives a spir- 
ited account of the events which followed. Qualchan and Owhi both perished 
as a result. Kamiakin, finding that all was lost, went to British Columbia, and 
thence made his way to the country of the Crows. In 1861 he appeared unher- 
alded at the Coeur d' Alene Mission. Subsequently he settled at Rock Lake, 
and there the remainder of his life was spent. Mr. Splawn gives a graphic ac- 
count of seeing the Yakima Hannibal in 1865. He lived fifteen years longer, 
thus reaching a good old age. 

Almost all the great chiefs who participated in thai series of wars died 
or were killed during the period. Three of the most notable, however, outlived 
their comrades many years. These were Kamiakin, Sulktalthscosum (Moses), 
and Halhaltlossot (Lawyer). 

With the announcement by General Clarke that the long struggle was 
over, the long arrested tide of population poured in. Mines were opened, 
droves of cattle were driven in, towns began to bud and blossom, and all the 
phenomena of state building, so familiar to successive generations of Ameri- 
cans, began at the strategic points of the Columbia Basin. 

For twenty years peace was the accepted order in the Inland Empire, and 
no thought of Indian warfare disturbed the minds of the builders of the new 
communities. Suddenly like a clap out of a clear sky came the Nez Perce War. 


This was the aftermath of conditions growing out of understandings which 
the Joseph branch of the Nez Perces seemed to have formed at the Walla Walla 
treaty in 1855. We have already spoken of the formation of those impressions. 
The hero of this Wallowa War was Young Joseph, Hallakallakeen (Eagle 
Wing). General Howard pays a great tribute to the skill and nobility of his 


foe. Defeat was inevitable and with it warfare ceased so far as any of the 
great tribes of well known Indians were concerned. But the very next year 
came the Bannock War, the scene of which was mainly Umatilla County in 
Oregon and the region of the Columbia River, north. This war brought another 
echo to the Yakima Valley, then just in the first beginnings of development. 
Mr. Splawn gives a very clear account of the genesis of this war in the mind 
of ButYalo Horn, the Bannock chief, upon whose untimely (from the Indian 
viewpoint) death the leadership fell to Eagan of the Piutes. He proved to be 
an incapable leader and the whole great undertaking fizzled out within a few 
months. It produced intense excitement, especially at Pendleton. At the 
moment of greatest apparent force the Indians undertook to cross the Columbia 
at Blalock Island, then called Long Island. 

A steamboat patrolling the river fired on them and kept the majority from 
crossing. A considerable number, however, effected the crossing of the river 
and among them some of the worst desperadoes in the whole Indian country. 
Going north across what is now known as the Horse Heaven country, this band 
crossed the Yakima River near the site of Prosser and struck across the Rattle- 
snake hills to the northward. On their way they perpetrated the atrocious- 
Perkins murder. 


This was one of the crudest events in all the long and cruel history of 
Indian warfare. It produced a profound horror in the minds of people living 
in Yakima at the time, for both Mr. Perkins and his wife (Blanche Bunting) 
were well known and greatly loved by the people of pioneer Yakima. They 
were murdered at a point called Rattlesnake Springs without the slightest prov- 
ocation and in a manner that illustrated those traits of Indian character which: 
seem to justify the intense hatred felt by frontiersmen for the "red devils."" 
This murder occurred on July 9, 1878. 

In an article by Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Coone in the "Washington Historical 
Quarterly" for January, 1917, there is a statement that Mr. and Mrs. Perkins 
were living in the Coone house at Ringold bar and that they had been to Yakima 
City and were on their return. It appears, however, from other statements that 
they were on the way to Yakima when they met their distressing fate. 

In Chapter XXXIX of Mr. Splawn's book there is a detailed account of 
this atrocity and of numerous encounters with the same band of Indians. We 
have space to refer to only two events connected with it. One is the question 
of the complicity of Moses, the big chief of the tribes from Wenatsha and up 
the Columbia from that point. Many held and still believe that Moses was the 
animating agency in that whole series of troubles, after the crossing of the 
Columbia. There was one very singular event in connection with Moses. The 
agent at Fort Simcoe at the time was James H. Wilbur, a truly great man. True 
to his usual methods, Agent Wilbur desired to get and to exhibit the facts first 
hand and hence he requested Moses to go to the fort and see him. 

Rather strange to say, the chief complied with the request. As a result 
both the agent and the chief went to Yakima City and held a council with the 


Moses disclaimed all complicity in the crime or in shielding or conceaHng 
.the murderers. He declared that he believed the murderers were hiding in the 
.lava beds of Crab Creek, and he offered to assist in locating them. As a result, 
a force of twenty-two volunteers, most of them well-known in Yakima, with 
William Splawn as captain, together with ten Indian policemen detailed by 
J\gent Wilbur and Head Chief Eneas, set forth to chase down the miscreants. 
The singular details of their experience and the enigmatical conduct of Moses, 
as detailed by Mr. Splawn, transcend our limits and we must refer our readers 
to Mr. Splawn's book. Mr. Splawn was in a position to know the facts, as well 
as any one could, and his final judgment was that Moses was not guilty of any 
• connection with the crime or of shielding the criminals. 

The murderers, or some of them, were captured at various times and duly 
tried and five were found guilty and sentenced to be hung. Mr. Splawn was 
interpreter at the trial and says that they confessed the murder. By a most 
•extraordinary succession of escapes, the sentence was deferred. There were 
three escapes, a most extraordinary commentary on the guards or guardhouses 
•of Yakima City at that time. As a result two only of the murderers expiated 
their crime on the gallows. Two were killed in attempting to escape. The fifth 
is said to have been killed two years later by a brother of Mrs. Perkins. There 
is some evidence that it was not the Indian wanted, but a woman, his sister, 
who received the bullet. This statement is that she was severely wounded but 

A magazine article by Mrs. Louise Heiler Cary gives a vivid view of the 
Perkins murder. 



Mrs. Louise Heiler Cary 

Just twenty years ago the peacefuL Yakima Valley was thrown into a state 
•of uneasiness by rumors of Indian depredations and murders committed all 
around us. One day in the early Spring of 1878 the mail carrier brought word 
to the little town of Yakima that the hostile Indians were trying to cross the 
'Columbia River over to the Yakima side. This greatly increased the anxiety, 
for it was generally believed that if they succeeded the little handful of settlers 
would be wiped out. 

At that time our only mail service was a weekly stage which ran between 
"Yakima and Umatilla. There was no railway, no telegraph line, absolutely no 
means of communicating with the outside world except by the weekly stage, 
whose driver, L. H. Adkins, literally took his life in his hard when he made the 

In July the soldiers commanded by Gen. O. O. Howard were waging some 
fierce battles at Umatilla. The general, anticipating the desires of the Indians 
to cross the Columbia and raid the Yakima countr}% ordered patrol boats 
manned by well armed soldiers to be placed on the river at points where the 

From McWhorter's "The Crime AKaiiist the Yakimas" 


Indians would cross, with orders to fire on any hostiles seen crossing the river. 
The Indians, not knowing the mission of the boats, soon made an attempt to 
cross in full view. They were promptly fired upon, and several were killed; 
only a few were successful in landing on the Yakima side and they left at once 
for Priest Rapids. At Rattlesnake Springs, twenty-five miles from Yakima, a 
general camping place for all stock men, they found Lorenzo Perkins and wife, 
who had stopped there for their noonday lunch on their v/ay to Yakima. They 
had heard of the Indian troubles along the Columbia, and concluded it would 
be safer for them among friends than at their home at White Bluf?s. 

Mr. Perkins was a brother of Mrs. L. J. May, well known in Yakima, and 
Mrs. Perkins was the daughter of Mrs. Cheney, who resides in Moxee. The 
savages, being greatly angered by having been fired upon from the boats that 
morning, were ready to take revenge by torturing any white person they might 
meet. Mr. and Mrs. Perkins noticed the strange actions of the Indians, became 
alarmed, and began preparations at once for leaving camp. The Indians, how- 
ever, had no intention of permitting this, and no sooner had they mounted their 
horses than the firing commenced. 

Mr. Perkins was first to fall from his horse. His v/ife by this time was 
riding at full speed ; the savages followed in hot pursuit, firing incessantly. She, 
too, soon fell, wounded, and begged piteously for them to spare her life, but 
her cries were unheeded. They were both dragged a short distance and there 
made fast to the ground by huge stones thrown upon them until they were 
buried beneath the mass. Mrs. Perkins was yet alive, but death soon delivered 
her from this awful torture. 

Friends grew very anxious when they did not arrive at the appointed time, 
and a searching party of five men, headed by A. J. Chambers, a cousin of Mrs. 
Perkins, was sent to ascertain their whereabouts. It was nine days before their 
bodies were recovered and brought to Yakima City for burial. Excitement 
ran high. Every one was aroused. A meeting was hurriedly called to take 
some active steps for the protection of the settlers. Everj* gun was brightened 
up and every man was buying ammunition. One night, at 12 o'clock, there was 
a general stampede caused by the appearance of Thomas Kelley, who rode 
rapidly into town, saying that "the Indians had broke out sure." Excited men 
ran in every direction, some preparing to fight, others getting their families into 
safer quarters. The Guilland hotel was considered the safest place, and women 
and children were packed in there like bees in a hive. Men were placed on 
guard at different places on the outskirts of town. Armed men paraded the 
streets all night, and some of the braver women buckled on revolvers and 
walked at the side of their husbands. 

The Indians had stolen a number of horses from settlers along the Wenas 
and other streams. Two young men by the name of Burbank, while out hunt- 
ing stock in the Selah Valley, saw at a distance what appeared to be their 
horses. On approaching they found that the horses v/ere being herded by 
Indians. The savages started in pursuit of the men, firing rapidly; the men 
quickly retreated, returning the firing over their shoulders until they reached 
the settlement in safety. 



The settlers by this time were so terrified that they left their homes and 
fled to places of safety, leaving their fields of ripe grain uncut and turning the 
stock into gardens and fields to do the harvesting. 

Stockades were made in different parts of the settlement for the safety of 
families. On the Ahtanum, near the residence now owned by Cyrus Walker, a 
large embankment was thrown up made of sods piled several feet high, with a 
deep trench on the outside. This was for the protection of all the residents 
of the valley. 

The government soon came to the rescue by placing cavalry troops at Fort 
Simcoe and by sending needle guns to Yakima City. This caused a feeling of 
relief. All breathed easier; and when news came that the Indians had sur- 
rendered to General Howard, where they were fighting along the Columbia 
River, there was great rejoicing. 

In December of the same year. Father Wilbur, who was at that time 
Indian agent at Fort Simcoe, sent an invitation to Chief Moses to meet him in 
Yakima City for the purpose of having a friendly council. Moses accepted the 
invitation and was present at the appointed time. The Centennial hall was 
packed with eager spectators to hear what the dreaded chief would have to say. 
Father Wilbur made the opening address, in which he said that we all are 
children of the Great Father, all of one family, and that it is wrong for one 
man to take the life of another. In this way he approached the subject of the 
murder of the Perkins family. Moses was chief over the Indians who had 
committed the deed, and it was well known that he was in sympathy with the 
hostiles. Moses believed that the little band of which he was chief and the 
Whites and Indians of the Yakima Valley composed the nation and that the 
world extended just beyond the Columbia River. True, he had heard of a 
Washington tyee, president of the United States, but Moses considered him an 
insignificant being compared with himself. 

On this occasion Moses was a striking picture. He was dressed in a long 
coat, Prince Albert style, black trousers, buckskin leggings, wore a white hand- 
kerchief about his neck and a wide-brimmed Spanish hat. When called upon 
to make a speech, he slowly stepped forward. The audience waited, almosi 
breathless. After standing perfectly quiet for some time, he bent forward with 
great deliberation, and blew a mighty bugle blast with his nasal appendage, 
making use of his leggings for a handkerchief. Then straightening himself to 
his fullest height, he pompously said, "Nika Moses" (I am Moses). After 
dwelling upon his own greatness, he finally consented to assist in capturing the 
murderers. He proposed that the Whites should join him on the Columbia 
twenty-five miles from Yakima, and promised to go with them to the spot where 
the murderers were camped. His plan was agreed to, and sixteen men, with 
seventeen Indian police, were prepared for the expedition. They soon set out, 
with special orders from the sheriflf, and with W. L. Splawn as captain. 

When they arrived at the point designated, they discovered that Moses was 
a traitor. He was nowhere to be seen. They crossed the river and started in 
the directon of Crab Creek, and were soon startled by the approach of the 
chief with sixty braves in war paint. The White heroes stood finn as statues. 


waiting orders from their commander. Captain Splawn railed to Moses, asking 
him what he meant by meeting them in this manner. Moses replied that his talk 
in Yakima was cultus (no good), and that he had no intention of fulfilling his 
agreement. After exchanging a few words, all dispersed without bloodshed. 

Captain Splawn immediately dispatched a courier to Yakima for assistance. 
Sixty volunteers, under Capt. James Simmons, immediately left for the scene, 
with orders to arrest Moses and bring him to Yakima. They were also rein- 
forced by Dors Schnebly and party from Ellensburg. They were not long in 
capturing the chief and nine warriors. These they handcuffed and tied. 

Those who saw Moses at this time do not look upon him as a brave man 
but think him very much of a coward. When he saw the handcuffs he wept 
like a baby. 

He was told that he would be held a prisoner until his men produced the 
murderers as he had agreed, and if they failed to do that his own life would 
pay the penalty. Moses agreed that if they would liberate three of his men 
they should bring in the murderers. The three were liberated and, after re- 
ceiving orders from their chief, disappeared. The other prisoners, including 
Moses, were taken to Yakima and placed in jail. Captain Splawn .continued 
to search for the guilty parties, who were finally captured, though not without 
resistance. The struggle was a fierce one, other Indians coming upon them 
and trying to rescue the prisoners. One man, by the name of Rozell, was shot 
through the arm and badly wounded ; others came near losing their lives. The 
murderers were placed in jail, after which Moses was liberated. 

Several weeks later the town was thrown into a state of excitement by the 
rapid firing of guns in the vicinity of the jail, and it was learned that the mur- 
derers had broken jail, had attempted to kill W. Z. York, the jailer, and, having 
left him for dead, were rapidly disappearing, when overtaken by the sherifif 
and deputies. The savages fought like tigers, preferring to die by the bullet 
rather than by the rope. 

One Indian was killed and two were wounded, one of them dying soon 
after. Two others were hanged in the courthouse yard at Yakima City. 

Later Moses was given a free ride over the Northern Pacific Railway to 
Washington that he might see how large the world really is ; also, that he might 
see the President and confer with other officials in regard to a reservation. 
The old chief evidently thinks that at that interview he took the President into 
partnership, for he now boasts that "Me and the President keep the peace." 

Of late years, when Chief Moses visits North Yakima, he is treated as a 
distinguished guest, and even received in the club rooms. 

Surely, our readers cannot wonder that to the old settlers who suiifered so 
much from his influence, this seems inappropriate. We try to exercise Chris- 
tian forgiveness, but we remember him too well as a high-handed murderer to 
think of him now as a hero. 

It is of interest to add in connection with the final scenes of the Perkins 
murder and the expiation for the crime by the murderers that we are in- 


formed by Mrs. John B. Davidson of Ellensburg, one of the most accurate stu- 
dents of history in the Valley, that the published accounts are incorrect in the 
name of the sheriff who brought the murderers to death. F. D. Schnebly was 
the sheriff in Yakima at that time. 

The connection of Moses with these events as well as the war twenty-two 
years before has never been fully explained or understood. In the general 
judgment of pioneers he was a "bad Injun" and deserving of more severe treat- 
ment than some of those who received the limit, as Leschi and Owhi. 

At any rate Moses "got away with it," and if he were a criminal escaped 
the due penalty, and soon after the Perkins murder went to Washington City, 
and as a result of his conference with the Government received for his people 
the valuable Colville Reservation on the west side of the Okanogan River. 

With this stage of our story the Indian wars may be said to end. 

Although this chapter is already unduly lojig, this is the suitable place to 
include, as a document of permanent interest and value to Yakima readers, the 
order setting aside the Yakima Reservation and the boundaries of that great 
body of land. 


June 9, 1855. 
12 Stat. 951. 
Ratified Mar. 8, 1859. 
Proclaimed Apr. 18. 

Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at the treaty- 
ground, Camp Stevens, Walla Walla Valley, this ninth day of June, in the year 
one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, by and between Isaac I. Stevens, 
governor and superintendent of Indian aiifairs, for the Territory of Washing- 
ton, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned head chiefs, chiefs, 
head-men, and delegates of the Yakama, Palouse, Pisquouse, Wenatshapam, 
Klitkatat, Klinquit, Kow-was-say-ee, Li-ay-was, Skin-pah, Wish-ham, Shyiks, 
Ochechotes, Kah-milt-pah, and Se-ap-cat, confederated tribes, and bands of 
Indians, occupying lands hereinafter bounded and described and lying in Wash- 
ington Territory, who for the purposes of this treaty are to be considered as 
one nation, under the name of "Yakama" with Kamaiakun as tis head chief, 
on behalf of and acting for said tribes and bands, and being duly authorized 
thereto by them. 

Article 1. The aforesaid confederated tribes and bands of Indians hereby 
cede, relinquish, and convey to the United States all their right, title, and inter- 
est in and to the lands and country occupied and claimed by them, and bounded 
and described as follows, to wit : Boundaries : Commencing at Mount Ranier, 
thence northerly along the main ridge of the Cascade Alountains to the point 
wliere the northern tributaries of Lake Che-Ian and the =outhern tributaries of 
the Methow River have their rise ; thence southeasterly on the divide between 
the waters of Lake Che-Ian and the Methow River to the Columbia River; 
thence, crossing the Columbia on a true east course, to a point whose longitude 
is one hundred and nineteen degrees and ten minutes (119° 10'), which two 


latter lines separate the above confederated tribes and bands from the Oakina- 
kane tribe of Indians; thence in a true south course to the forty-seventh 
(47 deg.) parallel of latitude; thence east on said parallel to the main Palouse 
River, which two latter lines of boundary separate the above confederated 
tribes and bands from the Spokanes; thence down the Palouse River to its 
junction with the Mohhah-ne-she, or southern tributary of the same; thence in 
a southeasterly direction, to the Snake River, at the mouth of the Tucannon 
River, separating the above confederated tribes from the Nez Perce tribe of 
Indians; thence down the Snake River to its junction with the Columbia River; 
thence up the Columbia River to the "White Banks" below the Priest's Rapids ; 
thence westerly to a lake called "Le Lac," thence southerly to a point on the 
Yakima River called Toh-mah-luke ; thence, in a southwesterly direction, to the 
Columbia River, at the western extremity of the "Big Island," between the 
mouths of the Umatilla River and Butler Creek ; all which latter boundaries 
separate the above confederated tribes and bands from the Walla Walla, Cayuse, 
and Umatilla tribes and bands of Indians; thence down the Columbia River to 
midway between the mouths of White Salmon and Wind rivers ; thence along 
the divide between said rivers to the main ridge of the Cascade Mountains ; 
and thence along said ridge to the place of beginning. 

Article 2. There is, however, reserved, from the lands above ceded for 
the use and occupation of the aforesaid confederated tribes and bands of 
Indians, the tract of land included within the following boundaries, to wit: 
Commencing on the Yakama River, at the mouth of the Attah-nam River; 
thence westerly along said Attah-nam River to the Forks : thence along the 
southern tributary to the Cascade Mountains ; thence southerly along the main 
ridge of said mountains, passing south and east of Mount Adams, to the spur 
whence flow the waters of the Klickatat and Pisco rivers; thence down said 
spur to the divide between the waters of said rivers ; thence along said divide 
to the divide separating the waters of the Satass River from those flowing into 
the Columbia River; thence along said divide to the main Yakama, eight miles 
below the mouth of the Satass River ; and thence up the Yakama River to the 
place of beginning. 

All which tract shall be set apart and, so far as necessary, surveyed and 
marked out, for the exclusive use and benefit of said confederated tribes and 
bands of Indians, as an Indian reservation; nor shall any white man, excepting 
those in the employment of the Indian Department, be permitted to reside upon 
the said reservation without permission of the tribe and the superintendent and 
agent. And the said confederated tribes and bands agree to remove to, and 
settle upon, the same, within one year after the ratification of this treaty. In 
the meantime it shall be lawful for them to reside upon any ground not in the 
actual claim and occupation of citizens of the United States; and upon any 
ground claimed or occupied, if with the permission of the owner or claimant. 

Guaranteeing, however, the right to all citizens of the United States to 
enter upon and occupy as settlers any lands not actually occupied and culti- 
vated by said Indians at this time, and not included in the reservation above 


And provided, That any substantial improvements heretofore made by any 
Indian, such as fields enclosed and cultivated, and houses erected upon the lands 
hereby ceded and which he may be compelled to abandon in consequence of this 
treaty, shall be valued, under the direction of the President of the United 
States, and payment made therefor in money; or improvements of an equal 
value made for said Indian upon the reser\'ation. And no Indian will be re- 
quired to abandon the improvements aforesaid, now occupied by him, until 
their value in money, or improvements of an equal value shall be furnished him 
as aforesaid. 

Article 3. And provided. That, if necessary for the public convenience, 
roads may be run through the said reservation; and on the other hand, the 
right of way, with free access from the same to the nearest public highway, is 
secured to them; as also the right, in common with citizens of the United 
States, to travel upon all public highways. 

The exclusive right of taking fish in all the streams, where running 
through or bordering said reservation, is further secured to said confederated 
tribes and bands of Indians, as also the right of taking fish at all usual and 
accustomed places, in common with the citizens of the Territory, and of erect- 
ing temporary buildings for curing them ; together with the privilege of hunt- 
ing, gathering roots and berries, and pasturing their horses and cattle upon 
open and unclaimed land. 

Article 4. In consideration of the above cession, the United States agree 
to pay to the said confederated tribes and bands of Indians, in addition to the 
goods and provisions distributed to them at the time of signing this treaty, the 
sum of two hundred thousand dollars, in the following m.anner, that is to say: 
Sixty thousand dollars, to be expended under the direction of the President 
of the United States, the first year after the ratification of this treaty, in pro- 
viding for their removal to the reservation, breaking up and fencing farms, 
building houses for them, supplying them with provisions and a suitable out- 
fit, and for such other objects as he may deem necessary, and the remainder 
in annuities, as follows : For the first five years after the ratification of the 
treaty, ten thousand dollars each year, commencing September first, 1856: for 
the next five years, eight thousand dollars each year ; and for the next five 
years, six thousand dollars per year; and for the next five years, four thousand 
dollars per year. 

All which sums of money shall be applied to the use and benefit of said 
Indians, under the direction of the President of the United States, who may 
from time to time determine, at his discretion, upon what beneficial objects 
to expend the same for tliem. And the superintendent of Indian affairs, or 
other proper officer, shall each year inform the President of the wishes of the 
Indians in relation thereto. 

Article 5. The United States further agree to establish at suitable points 
within said reservation, within one year after the ratification hereof, two 
schools, erecting the necessary buildings, keeping them in repair, and providing 
them with furniture, books and stationery, one of which shall be an agricultural 
and industrial school, to be located at the agency, and to be free to the children 
of the said confederated tribes and bands of Indians, and to employ one super- 


intendent of teaching and two teachers; to build two blacksmiths' shops, to one 
of which shall be attached a tin-shop, and to the other a gunsmith's shop, 
one carpenter's shop, one wagon and plough-maker's shop, and to keep the 
same in repair and furnished with the necessary tools; to employ one super- 
intendent of farming and two farmers, two blacksmiths, one tinner, one gun- 
smith, one carpenter, one wagon and plough maker, for the instruction of the 
Indians in trades and to assist them in the same; to erect one saw-mill and one 
flouring-mill, keeping the same in repair and furnished with the necessary tools 
and fixtures ; to erect a hospital, keeping the same in repair and provided with 
the necessary medicines and furniture, and to employ a physician; and to erect, 
keep in repair, and provided with the necessary furniture, the building re- 
quired for the accommodation of the said employes. The said buildings and 
establishments to be maintained and kept in repair as aforesaid, and the em- 
ployes to be kept in service for the period of twenty years. 

And in view of the fact that the head chief of the said confederated tribes 
and bands of Indians is expected, and will be called upon to perform many 
services of a public character, occupying much of his time, the United States 
further agree to pay to the said confederated tribes and bands of Indians five 
hundred dollars per year, for the term of twenty years after the ratification 
hereof, as a salary for such person as the said confederated tribes and bands 
of Indians may select to be their head chief, to build for him at a suitable 
point on the reservation a comfortable house, and properly furnish the same, 
and to plough and fence ten acres of land. The said salary to be paid to, and 
the said house to be occupied by, such head chief so long as he may continue 
to hold that office. 

And it is distinctly understood and agreed that at the time of the conclu- 
sion of this treaty Kamaiakun is the duly elected and authorized head chief of 
the confederated tribes and bands aforesaid, styled the Yakama Nation, and is 
recognized as such by them and by the commissioners on Ihe part of the United 
States holding this treaty ; and all the expenditures and expenses contemplated 
in this article of this treaty shall be defrayed by the United States, and shall not 
be deducted from the annuities agreed to be paid to said confederated tribes and 
bands of Indians. Nor shall the cost of transporting the goods for the annuity 
payments be a charge upon the annuities, but shall be defrayed by the United 

Article 6. The President may, from time to time, at his discretion cause 
the whole or such portions of such reservation as he may think proper, to be 
surveyed into lots, and assign the same to such individuals or families of the 
said confederated tribes and bands of Indians as are willing to avail themselves 
of the privilege, and will locate on the same as a permanent home, on the same 
terms and subject to the same regulations as are provided in the sixth articU 
of the treaty with the Omahas, so far as the same may be applicable. 

Article 7. The annuities of the aforesaid confederated tribes and bands 
of Indians shall not be taken to pay the debts of individuals. 

Article 8. The aforesaid confederated tribes and bands of Indians ac- 
knowledge their dependence upon the Government of the United States and 


promise to be friendly with all citizens thereof, and pledge themselves to com- 
mit no depredations upon the property of such citizens. 

And should any one or more of them violate this pledge, and the fact be 
satisfactorily proved before the agent, the property taken shall be returned, 
or in default thereof, or if injured or destroyed, compensation may be made 
by the Government out of the annuities. 

Nor will they make war upon any other tribe, except in self-defense, but 
will submit all mafter of difference between them and other Indians to the 
Government of the United States or its agent for decision, and abide thereby. 
And if any of the said Indians commit depredations on any other Indians 
within the Territory of Washington or Oregon, the same rule shall prevail as 
that provided in this article in case of depredations against citizens. And the 
said confederated tribes and bands of Indians agree not to shelter or conceal 
offenders against the laws of the United States, but to deliver them up to the 
authorities for trial. 

Article 9. The said confederated tribes and bands of Indians desire to 
exclude from their reservation the use of ardent spirits, and to prevent their 
people from drinking the same, and, therefore, it is provided that any Indian 
belonging to said confederated tribe and bands of Indians, who is guilty of 
bringing liquor into said reservation, or who drinks liquor, may have his or her 
annuities withheld from him or her for such time as the President may deter- 

Article 10. And provided, That there is also reserved and set apart from 
the lands ceded by this treaty, for the use and benefit of the aforesaid confed- 
erated tribes and bands, a tract of land not exceeding in ([uantity one township 
of six miles square, situated at the forks of the Pisquonse or Wenatshapam 
River, and known as the "Wenatshapam Fishery," which said reservation shall 
be surveyed and marked out whenever the President may direct, and be subject 
to the same provisions and restrictions as other Indian reserv-ations. 

Article 11. This treaty shall be obligatory upon the contracting parties 
as soon as the same shall be ratified by the President and Senate of the United 

In testimony whereof, the said Isaac I. Stevens, ."governor and superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs for the Territory of Washington, and the under- 
signed head chief, chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the aforesaid confederated 
tribes and bands of Indians, have hereunto set their hands and seals, at the 
place and on the day and year hereinbefore written. 

Is.-\AC I. Stevens, 
Governor and Superintendent. (L. S.) 

Kamaiakun, his x mark (L. S.) Wish-och-kmpits, his x mark (L. S.) 

Skloom, his X mark (L. S.) Koo-lat-toose, his x mark (L. S.) 

OwHi, his x mark (L. S.) Shee-ah-cotte, his x mark (L. S.) 

Te-cole-kun, his X mark (L. S.) Tuck-quille, his x mark (L. S.) 

La-hoom, his X mark (L. S.) K.\-loo-as, his x mark (L. S.) 


Me-ni-nock, his X mark (L. S.) Scha-noo-a, his x mark (L. S.) 

Elit Palmer, his x mark (L. S.) Sla-kish, his x mark (L. S.) 

Signed and sealed in the presence of — 
James Doty, secretary of treaties, 
Mie. Cles. Pandosy, 6. 'M. T., 
A\'m. C. McKay, 

W. H. Tappan, sub Indian agent, \V. T. 
C. Chirouse, O. 'SI. T. 
Patrick McKenzie. interpreter. 
A. D. Pambrun, interpreter, 

Joel Palmer, superintendent, Indian affairs, O. T. 
W. D. BiHow. 




first settlements — first real settler — dealing with thieving indians 

growing settlement mining in yakima valley some characteristic 

stories of old times. 

First Settlements 

We have seen in the preceding chapter that after a dozen years of broken 
and desultory warfare, together with a plentiful lack of definiteness and con- 
tinuity of aim, by reason of lack of hannony between the national and state 
troops, — the Indians were reduced to helplessness, the chief organizers, as 
Leschi, Qualchan, Peupeumoxmox, Owhi, and Kamiakin, were killed or ban- 
ished, and the tomahawk and rifle, and firebrand and scalping knife gave way 
to the beginnings of civilized occupation. It was a great era in this country 
when the long-closed gates of the Inland Empire were thrown open and immi- 
gration poured in. The bulk of first comers came from the Willamette \"alley. 
The larger tide turned to the Walla Walla country. This was very natural. 
The 'A'alley of Waters" had been seen by many immigrants of the forties and 
fifties. They had been favorably impressed with its beauty and evident fer- 
tility. Some indeed had located there prior to the Indian wars. The discovery 
of the Idaho goldfields in 1860-61 had caused a stampede of which the natural 
outfitting point was Walla Walla. As a result of these conditions and of the 
added fact that the chief military post- was located at that point, Walla Walla 
became the principal early settlement and the mother county of the Inland Em- 
pire. In fact the first Walla Walla County included all of eastern Washington, 
over half of Idaho, and about a fourth of ^Montana. Xo organization, how- 
ever, was effected, and a new alignment a little later gave the mother county 
somewhat less colossal dimensions. 

The Yakima A'alley was relatively late in entering the field. The reasons 
are obvious. It was off the main course of imoiigrant travel and hence was 
less known. Although the famous Naches Road was laid out in 1833 and a 
notable immigration to Puget Sound occurred in that year, and there was later 
a considerable movement by that route, yet the great tide of travel was by the 
Oregon Trail to the Willamette Valley. ^loreover the evident aridity of 
climate, the vast sagebrush deserts of the lower valley with poor grazing sup- 
plies, even though along the water courses and in the upper valleys the Indian 
herds congregated in great numbers, discouraged settlement. Hence there was 


hardly a real immigration till the decade of the seventies, and not till the eigh- 
ties, with the beginnings of regular irrigation and coming of railroads was there 
a development comparable with that which had taken place in Walla Walla 
twenty years earlier. The decade of the eighties, including one or two years 
of the seventies, was the great foundation period of most of eastern Washing- 
ton. The Palouse country, the Spokane and Big Bend, the Asotin and Pataha 
regions, the Wenatchee and Yakima,— all may be said to have had their real 
birth in the early eighties, while Walla Walla was already a blooming maiden 
of twenty summers. There was, however, a kind of prenatal existence for the 
other regions which makes a most significant and entertaining story, and to 
that period of history in Yakima we now address ourselves. We draw our 
data considerably from the book by A. J. Splawn, already referred to so many 
times. "The History of Klickitat, Yakima, and Kittitas Counties," published 
in 1904, by the Interstate Publishing Company, is also a valuable source of 
information. Miscellaneous writings, culled from magazines and newspapers, 
and regular newspaper files, have been used so far as possible. Still more 
important and vital is the testimony of living participants in the history. The 
historian is very fortunate to find in Yakima, still in the best of health and 
spirits, a member of the first pioneer family of the Yakima Valley. This is 
Leonard Thorp, known and honored by his fellow townsmen, a man who has 
seen the sagebrush plains transformed into one of the garden spots of the 
earth. Mrs. Thorp (Philena Henson) also belonged to a pioneer family, coming 
but a little later. 

A good many of the first comers to Yakima were "Squaw men." Some of 
them were transient wanderers, while others became permanent and influential 
in laying first foundations. It is difficult to say with certainty how early these 
men began coming. As we have seen in an earlier chapter, David Longmire 
looked upon the Yakima Valley first of any one now living in Yakima. That 
was in 1853, the year of the first wagon train to Puget Sound. Mr. Longmire 
says that there were no white men here at that time except two Catholic priests, 
one at Tampico and the other near Selah at the subsequent homestead of 
George Taylor, still later acquired by George Hall. It is quite probable that 
other Whites had made sporadic locations at various places in the vast expanse 
of the valley with its many arms. The first names, however, that appear are 
those of certain cattlemen, who became well-known in later history. They 
came in 1859, but made no permanent location. These men were Ben Snipes, 
William Murphy, Fred Allen, Jacob Allen, Bert Allen, and John B. Nelson. A 
little later came James Murphy, John Murphy, William Henderson, William 
Connell, and John Jeffrey. These latter men were located in the Klickitat, but 
drove their cattle across the Simcoe Mountains to the Yakima. None of these 
cattlemen made any definite location till several years later. 


The first real settler was F. Mortimer Thorp. His coming was a notable 
event worthy of all commemoration. Moreover, his descendants, now in the 
fourth generation, have continued to play a noble part in the development of 


Yakima, and hence we may well take the coming of Mortimer Thorp and fam- 
ily as the initial date of beginnings. Mr. Thorp was one of the genuine type of 
American frontiersmen, a type passing away rapidly, but one which has left its 
impress on American and even world history beyond any other type. While 
conditions no longer make possible the existence of that type in the outer 
semblance of the old pioneer days, yet it is due to their transmitted qualities of 
mind and body that their sons have been going by the million to France to play 
a decisive part in executing sentence of death on that hoary-headed iniquity of 
monarchical militarism which was threatening to enslave Europe and ultimately 
to destroy that greatest product of the ages, which we are proud to call Ameri- 
canism, which Lincoln himself, one of the best examples of the Ameri- 
can pioneer, called "the last best hope of earth." Daring, generous, hospitable, 
ambitious, liberty-loving, regardless of the old and looking toward the new, 
freehanded, oftentimes high-tempered and quick with a "gun" or a fist, but 
not mean or sneaking or hypocritical, intolerant toward Indians, yet quickly 
sympathetic under all his sternness, in deadly earnest about the essentials of 
life but with great facility in adaptation of means to ends, thinking for him- 
self and perfectly indifferent to any supposed "authority" of church or state 
or society, inclined to melancholy, and yet with a dry nonchalant humor, with 
enough wholesome human nature and original sin to give a rich flavor to his 
other qualities — the western pioneer is one of the choicest products of human 
evolution. He is the true maker of the modern world. And "by this sign we 
shall conquer" in the present great crisis of the world's history, and make the 
world "safe for Democracy." 

Mr. Thorp was born in Kentucky and his wife, Margaret Bounds, was bom 
in Tennessee. In 1844 they came to Oregon and settled in Polk County. But 
as settlements thickened, the restless pioneer craving to move on and lay new 
foundations possessed them, and in 1858 the family, then including nine chil- 
dren (after the good old Oregon fashion of big families, while in these degen- 
erate days it is hard to contribute even one or two to the race stock of the world), 
left the Oregon home and located in the Klickitat Valley at the subsequent site 
of Goldendale. But apparently fearing that somebody else might come to the 
same spot, Mr. Thorp, having played an influential part in founding the county 
of Klickitat, being first probate judge, again pulled up stakes and moved on. 
In the latter part of 1860 he drove a herd of cattle into the Moxee. The herd 
consisted of fine Durham cattle, over two hundred and fifty in number. He 
had also a number of horses. He employed Benjamin Sneiling, John Zumwalt, 
and A. C. Myers, as herders, and built for them a little log cabin, the first 
house built in Yakima Valley, except those of the militan,- forces and the Cath- 
olic fathers. In February, 1861, Mr. Thorp moved with his family from 
Klickitat to the new home on the Moxee. The location is known of course, to 
all old-timers, in the southern part of the Moxee Valley, by the "big spring," 
near the bluff, across the Yakima River from the mouth of the Ahtanum. To 
that sightly spot the first family of Yakima made their way, father, mother, 
and nine children, four boys and five girls, on horseback, and with their house- 
hold goods on pack-horses. Living first in the log cabin built for the cattle 


herders, they soon constructed a better cabin, twenty-five by sixteen feet in 
size, and were ready to hve in the generous frontier style. No one thought 
then of the Yakima Valley being anything more than a stock country on any 
large scale, but the Thorps cleared off and planted a tract of several acres on 
the bottom land and were rewarded with an abundance of garden products in 
the Fall. In the Fall also Mr. Thorp succeeded in making his way from Klick- 
itat with a wagon. He brought in a cook stove, some furniture and other fun- 
damental conveniences, thus lightening the household duties of his wife and 
daughters to a great degree. 


Although the Indian wars were over the Yakima Valley was then a genu- 
ine Indian country and at times that first family on the Moxee were in no little 
peril. Mr. Thorp was one of the boldest of men and he met all dangers with 
such unflinching courage as to quench them at the very outset. This is well 
illustrated by two incidents related to the author by Mr. Leonard Thorp, who 
at the time of settlement in Moxee was a sixteen-year-old boy, but like other 
pioneer boys, accustomed to the work and responsibilities of a man. In the 
Summer of 1862 a fine gray horse, Mr. Thorp's favorite riding animal, disap- 
peared. Feeling sure that it was stolen by Indians Mr. Thorp demanded its 
return of the chief, declaring that if it were not brought back he would punish 
the thief when he found him in a way that would be remembered. The horse 
was not returned and finding the thief in course of time the frontiersman exe- 
cuted his threat by tying him to a tree and giving him such a merciless flogging 
that he never recovered, dying in a few mouths. As a result the Indians had 
such wholesome respect for the one man on the Moxee that his stock were 
seldom molested. Leonard Thorp in narrating this in.stance of his father's 
energetic and decisive methods, remarked rather apologetically that his father 
was pretty high-tempered and very strong, and moreover had always been 
accustomed to a frontiersman's way of dealing with Indians. The other inci- 
dent concerned a meeting with Smohalla the "dreamer." One day in 1863, Mr. 
Thorp and Leonard were riding in the middle of the Moxee when they discov- 
ered a band of Indians approaching rapidly from the north. As the dust flew 
away from the galloping band it was evident that they v.'ere in full war rig. 
Going to the house hastily and directing the family to hunt places of hiding 
as well as possible, Mr. Thorp and Leonard went out boldly to meet the array 
of warriors. Mr. Thorp was well armed, and when the Indians drew near and 
saw who it was they halted. After his usual manner Thorp took the initiative 
and with cocked revolver in one hand he seized Smohalla's bridle reins with the 
other and demanded his reasons for coming down on them in war paint and 
weapons in that style. Though only two men against eighty Indians, nerve was 
the winning card as usual. The cocked revolver was a very strong line of argu- 
ment. Smohalla laughed, offered his hand in a friendly manner and explained 
that the report had been circulated that a thousand Indians were coming to raid 
the settlement. He had therefore come with his little band of eighty warriors — 
all he had — to show the settlers the smallness of his force and to assure them 


of his friendship. After a little further exchange of compliments the band 
of warriors turned and went back as swiftly as they had come. The Thorps 
always believed that the Indians had come for mischief, but that the unexpected 
boldness of the settler, with the eloquent look of the revolver, had nipped the 
plan in the bud. 

If we may digress for a paragraph at this point, it may prove of interest to 
the reader to know that this Smohalla the "dreamer" was chief of a tribe of 
Indians at Priest Rapids. He had had some most remarkable experiences. He 
was a great "tomanowas" man and ruled his tribe and even the adjoining tribes 
through fear of his evil spell. It having been noised around that he was making 
"bad medicine" in order to kill Moses, the latter met him one day on the bank 
of the Columbia and beat him almost to death. Smohalla recovered sufficiently 
to hunt a canoe, in which he went down the river, and with some assistance 
from sympathetic Whites at Umatilla he continued on to Portland. He finally 
made an extended tour of Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, 
returning home by a northeastern route. He was gone two years and upon his 
return he regained his former influence, and more, over his people. His great 
aim was to combat in every possible way the adoption by the Indians of civilized 
manners, dress, food and religion. He taught the old salmon dances, snake 
dances, and other old rites and ceremonies, and professed to have special rev- 
elations from the Great Spirit. A. J. Splawn says that Smohalla was the 
greatest hypocrite that he ever knew, but that he was also the greatest Indian 
orator that he ever heard. He especially describes his speech in favor of peace 
in 1877. Joseph, the Nez Perce Napoleon, had sent emissaries to a council at 
Wenatchee to urge that Moses and the bands on the Columbia start a foray 
upon Yakima in order to draw off Howard and his forces from the pursuit of 
Joseph's band. Smohalla opposed this proposal successfully in what Splawn 
says was an extraordinary speech. 

One custom was almost universal among the pioneers, which has a good 
deal to commend it, though it has become a back number in our day, and that 
was early marriages. The corollary of that usage was large families. So, 
hardly were the Thorps settled in their new home before marriages began to 
take place. The first was that of Charles A. Splawn and Dulcena Helen Thorp, 
presumably the first wedding in Yakima. This occurred in the Fall of 1861 at 
Fort Simcoe, Father Wilbur performing the ceremony. 

Next to the Thorps, the Hensons and Splawns may be considered as the 
first permanent settlers who became identified with the history of Yakima. 
Alfred Henson with his family had been a neighbor of the Thorps in Klickitat 
on the present site of Goldendale. In 1861, only two weeks after the departure 
of the Thorps, Henson and his family under the guidance of a friendly Indian 
named Howmilt crossed the Simcoe hills, went through the Yakima and onward 
to the Kittitas and hence to a tributary of the Wenatchee. It is safe to say 
that this was the first white family to see those two valleys, now so fruitful and 
well settled, then in all their wild beauty and filled with native tribes. Mr. Hen- 
son had heard of gold discoveries in the Wenatchee and conjectured that a 
supply of miners' equipment would be a profitable venture. He had fifteen 


horses loaded with such supplies and also drove a fev- milch cows. John 
Gubser and George Rearfield went to assist in packing and driving. But dis- 
appointment awaited him in the Wenatchee. The miners had moved on. See- 
ing no outlook in that direction Mr. Henson sold his supplies to the Indians 
and made his way to Moxee where he made a location adjoining his old neigh- 
bors, the Thorps. In the course of the Fall the Indians liecame so threatening 
that Mr. Henson lost faith in the new location and returned with his family to 
Klickitat. Three years later he moved again and made a permanent location 
in the Moxee. The Splawns, whose part in Yakima history is equalled by few 
and surpassed by none, consisted of five brothers, Charles, William, George, 
Moses, and Andrew J. Their father, John Splawn, was a pioneer of Missouri, 
dying in 1845 at an early age. Their mother, Nancy McHaney Splawn, with the 
bravery and enterprise characteristic of those pioneer mothers, went in an im- 
migrant train to Oregon in 1852. The mother with her five boys settled in 
Linn County. The book by A. J. Splawn gives so vivid a picture of his heroic 
mother as to make her a most attractive personality even to those who never 
knew her. She was one of the genuine frontier women of the Northwest. It 
is a pleasure to record that she later became established in the Kittitas Valley 
and lived many years at Ellensburg where she reached a very advanced age, 
surrounded by the comforts of life after all the strenuous experiences of her 
earlier years. Charles Splawn, as related, came with the Thorps to Klickitat, 
having cattle also on the site of Goldendale, and in 1861 he accompanied the 
Thorps to Moxee and soon after he and the oldest girl were married. A son 
was born to them in 1863, the first in Yakima, but he died within a year. In 
1868 Charles Splawn and his wife moved to the Taneum Creek in the upper 
Yakima near the present Ellensburg. Mrs. Charles Splawn was the first white 
woman in what later became Kittitas County. Her daughter Viola, born in 
1869, was one of the first white children born in Kittitas. William Splawm, 
with his wife, Margaret Jacobs, came to Moxee in 186^, and their daughter 
Nettie, born in that year, subsequently Mrs. Richmond, was the first white girl 
born in Yakima County. A. J. Splawn went in 1860, a boy of sixteen, to the 
Klickitat to join his brother Charles. He entered then upon his career as a 
cattleman, becoming one of the best known in the Northwest. His book, the 
most notable in Yakima history, contains a multitude of valuable details of the 
events with which he was so familiar. His subsequent important part in the 
upbuilding of the county will appear in the further progress of this work. In 
1861 he made his first trip into the Yakima Valley. In company with Jack Ker 
he helped Noble Saxon drive a herd of cattle into Yakima. They drove the 
herd to the Moxee where they found the Thorps holding solitary possession. 
On account of an Indian scare the Saxon herd was driven back in the Fall to 
Klickitat. In May of that same year Major John Thorp, father of Mortimer, 
drove into Moxee a band of one hundred and fifty steers. For many years fol- 
lowing "Jack" Splawn ranged back and forth through the Yakima, Wenatchee, 
Cariboo, Boise, Montana, Kamloops, Okanogan, and all places between, having 
adventures enough for a volume, many of which he happily preserved in the 
valuable and entertaining book to which we have so often referred. In 1870 he. 


in company with Ben Burch, started a store in Kittitas Valley, with the rather 
anti-inviting title of "Robbers' Roost." He also filed a squatter's right to one 
hundred and sixty acres of land. Such a life was, however, ill-suited to the 
active, adventurous disposition of the cowboy, and in 1872 he sold out to John 
A. Shoudy, giving him also a present of his squatter's right. That was as good 
a claim as lay out doors and upon it Mr. Shoudy founded a town. He named 
it in honor of his wife Ellen, and thus the second largest city in central Wash- 
ington, Ellensburg, had its beginning. Moses Splawn, another brother, had as 
many adventures in the mines and elsewhere as fell to the general lot of the 
family, but was not steadily a resident of the Yakima country. In 1870 he was 
with A. J. in the store on the site of the coming Ellensburg. 

Leonard Thorp has described for us the cattleman's paradise which lay at 
Moxee when they first settled in 1861. There was rj'e grass in the bottom as 
high as a man's shoulders on horseback, so that the stock were fairly swallowed 
up in it. Though the plains were mainly covered with sagebrush there was 
mixed with it, and yet more in the hills, the most luxurious bunch grass. This 
limitless supply of feed, together with the pure cold waters of the Yakima 
rushing by, made a little world of themselves for the stock. Though the lonely 
family by the "big spring" in the Moxee had no neighbors nearer than Klicki- 
tat, about sixty miles distant, and had no money, nor felt the need of any, they 
had a rude plenty, with their cattle, game, fish, and the products of their garden. 
In the midst of their satisfaction came that "hard Winter" cf 1861-62, the worst 
ever known, unless the recent one of 1915-16 be accounted a rival. But in 
these times the facilities of life are so much more numerous that a comparison 
is not possible. In some regions the cattle industry was practically wiped out 
in 1861-62. Heavy snows began in November of that year. One followed an- 
other to be succeeded at intervals with heavy rain, freezing on top, with an 
occasional partial thaw, after which would come another freeze. There was 
over two feet of snow on the whole valley, with so hard a crust that not even a 
horse could easily break it. But Mr. Thorp did not propose to bring all that 
band of cattle into the Moxee to let them perish, and he and his sons waged a 
desperate and successful fight with the Winter. They got out every day to 
break the crusted snow in order that the cattle and horses might reach the 
great stores of dry^ grass beneath. Their efforts were rewarded, for out of three 
hundred cattle they lost only seven, and none of their sixty horses perished. 


The three families. Thorps, Hensons, and Splawns, may be considered as 
contributing the nucleus of the settlement of the Yakima Valley. There were, 
however, a number of others who came more transiently, most of them with 
Indian wives, during the years immediately following. In 1862, Albert Haines 
with his wife Letitia Flett. came to Moxee and settled near the Thorps. This 
marked a very interesting event; that is, the first school in Yakima. Mrs. 
Haines was the teacher, the scholars were the Thorp children, and the school 
room was the upstairs of the new Thorp house, a two story log structure much 
larger than the first. In 1863 three French squawmen, Doshea, Broshea, and 


Nason, located near the Thorps. One of them, Nason, took a place in the Moxee 
near the present location of the Riverside schoolhouse. Broshea established 
himself on the river bottom in the place now reached by East Yakima Avenue. 
He was thus the first settler on land now actually in the city of Yakima. 
Doshea was also on the west side of the river just below Broshea. Nason sold 
out to McAllister in 1865. He went to the Kittitas in 1869, becoming one of 
the first settlers in that part of the Yakima. In November, 1863, William 
Parker and Fred White established themselves with a large band of cattle on 
the upper Satus Creek. In the next year Mr. Parker and John Allen drove 
their cattle into the fertile flats on the north side of the Yakima south of the 
ridge, and it is known as Parker bottom to this day, one of the most productive 
regions of the whole fertile valley. In the same year came Gilbert Pell, who 
settled on the north side of the Yakima River near the mouth of the Satus. He 
afterwards became the first settler in Fruitvale. In the Spring of the same year 
of 1864 the first settler on the Ahtanum made a permanent location. This was 
Andrew Gervais, permanently and honorably identified with the growth of 
Yakima. At the same time came one of the most prominent of the makers of 
early Yakima, J. B. Nelson. He with his family first located near the mouth 
of the Yakima, the first family in all that region. He had come to be there by 
reason of the fact that horse thieves had run off horses from his herds and in 
following them he had become temporarily the first settler on the lower Yakima. 
During the following Winter he went to a point on the other side of the 
Yakima a little ways south of the present Sunnyside, later the Jock Morgan 
ranch. The next year the Nelsons went to a point near the mouth of the Naches, 
now the Lesh orchard. Having been flooded out in 1867, the family moved 
again, this time to what became the first claim on the Naches. In the Fall of 
1864 one of the most prominent men in the country at that time came to 
Yakima, Nathan Olney. He was the second settler on the Ahtanum. His loca- 
tion was near the present Wiley City. He was a member of the immigration 
of 1843, had taken a prominent part in all the Indian wars, was an Indian sub- 
agent for a number of years and as such had exercised ;i large influence in the 
settlement of Indian troubles. His wife was an Indian woman, and his children 
and grandchildren, living mainly at Toppenish, Wapato, and the regions ad- 
joining, are known throughout Yakima as possessed of vvealth, intelligence, and 
force of character. Mr. Olney died the very next year after locating on the 

In the fall of 1864 there arrived also a notable group of cattlemen, L. F. 
Mosier, Captain James Barnes, and Mr. Warbass. They had driven a herd of 
cattle from southern Oregon past Klamath Lake and The Dalles, and thence 
across the Klickitat and Simcoe to the Selah and Wenas. These cattle were the 
first on that range. 

The year 1865 was notable for incoming settlers. The first location on 
the Wenas was made that year by Augustan Cleman. His location was that 
subsequently acquired by David Longmire. It is stated that the first sheep in 
Yakima were driven in by Mr. Cleman. From him the high mountain between 
the Naches and Wenas received its name. His descendants have taken a prom- 


inent part in the development of both the Yakima and Kittitas regions. This 
same year saw the entrance of the largest drove of cattle yet coming to Yakima, 
nine hundred head, driven in by the McDaniels, Elisha and Andy. Their loca- 
tion was on the Yakima River at the west end of Snipes Mountain. Their 
cattle were ultimately acquired by Ben Snipes. As already noted, Mr. Snipes 
began driving stock into the Yakima as early as 1859, but he did not take up a 
residence till a number of years later. In 1865 came another notable addition 
to the growing community. This was an immigration led by Dr. L. H. Good- 
win, whose first design was to go to Puget Sound. They decided to locate 
near the mouth of the Cowiche, and became the first settlers in that region. 
With this company, in addition to the Goodwins, there were Walter Lindsay and 
family and John Rozelle and family and William Harrington, whose wife was 
a daughter of Rozelle. These families had a number of sons and daughters 
and constituted the largest addition yet made to the different Yakima settle- 
ments. L. H. Goodwin finally took a place just above the subsequent Yakima 
City. Thomas Goodwin located in the river bottom aboui a mile above the 
present Moxee bridge. W'alter Lindsay made his house yet a little higher up, 
John Lindsay and William Harrington located on the Ahtanum. The Rozelles 
went to the Kittitas and thus became the first settlers in that part of Yakima. 
But they were not permanent settlers. For during their first Winter they fell 
into such distress that Mortimer Thorp, learning of their condition, sent Andy 
Gervais to bring them down to Moxee. This he did and as a result Mr. Rozelle 
took up a place which became the site of the north part of the city of Yakima. 
These claims, with those earlier taken by Doshea and Broshea embraced most 
of what is now the city, east of the railroad. In 1863 Mr. Moore and William 
Connell built a cabin in Parker bottom, now on the Sawyer place, the oldest 
house in Yakima, of which a picture appears in this volume. 

The year 1866 saw a steady, though not a large increase in the little settle- 
ment. James W. Allen located on the Ahtanum about two miles below the sub- 
sequent Woodcock Academy, and a few years later his son-in-law, H. M. Ben- 
ton, became established adjoining. David Heaton settled on the Ahtanum a 
little above the Allen place in the same year of 1866. In the same year the first 
settler located in the Selah Valley on the east side of the Yakima River. This 
was George Taylor. In that year came E. Bird, with cattle which he turned 
out on the plains just below the mouth of the Satus. A few years later he drove 
his stock into the lower Yakima between "the Horn" and the present Richland. 
Apparently he was the first in that region for anything more than a transient 
stay, and even he made no permanent residence there. William Hickenbottom 
and Thomas Connell acquired the Moore interests in Parker Bottom and became 
residents in the Moore cabin already referred to as the oldest existing house in 
Yakima Valley. This same year also was marked by the erection of the first 
cabin on the site of Ellensburg, by William Wilson. 

A number of permanent additions were made in 1867. Egbert French went 
to Parker Bottom, having a very bright Indian wife, and started the first store. 
He was on the place now owned by Dan McDonald. Purdy Flint and wife, Lucy 
Burch, settled in Moxee, and began their influential part in laying foundations 


in the valley. They are still living in a beautiful home in Yakima. A begin- 
ning was made this year in the region on the north side of the Yakima along 
the foot of Snipes Mountains. This location was made by Samuel Chappelle. 
Within a few years he moved to the subsequent site of Zillah, the first in that 
place. C. P. Cooke came to Moxee in 1867, and three years later went to the 
Kittitas, where he and his family bore an honorable part in the upbuildings of 
that section. The Lyen family followed almost the same course as the Cookes, 
going to Kittitas in 1871. In 1867 also came one of the noteworthy char- 
acters of Yakima history. This was Col. H. D. Cock. In the Chapter on Indian 
Wars we have related an instance of his nerve. He first settled on the river a 
little below the present Mabton, and there he established the first ferry in that 
section. Later he became the first to take up land on the dry hill west of Yakima, 
then usually thought worthless, now the Nob Hill section. Colonel Cock became 
the first marshal of North Yakima. Several important ?dditions were made 
to the Ahtanum settlement in 1867. Among these may be named Thomas 
Chambers, Charles Stewart, and Joseph Bunting. According to A. J. Splawn, 
Bunting was the man who murdered Quiemuth the Indian in Olympia under 
the impression that it was Quiemuth who killed the McAllisters on the White 
River in 1855. Bunting was a son-in-law of McAllister. Thomas Pierce settled 
in the Selah Valley in 1867. In the same year there was another valuable addi- 
tion to the Ahtanum in the person of Hugh Wiley and family, who have been 
among the largest contributors to the substantial moral and business growth of 
the Ahtanum section. Their location was at the place where Wiley City now 
stands. J. W. Coplen settled adjoining Wiley, but in 1870 sold out to Alonzo 
Durgon and moved to Walla Walla, subsequently becommg one of the first 
settlers in the Hangman Creek country. J. W. Goodwin located on the Cowiche 
in that year, selling in 1870 to J. W. Stevenson who still lives at the place. The 
same year of 1867 marked the first actual settlers in the Kittitas, though, as 
already seen there were sporadic locations there at an earHer date. A Switzer 
named Frederick Ludi, and a German, John Goller, commonly called "Dutch 
John." located that year in Kittitas. They were advised to seek that spot by 
Mortimer Thorp to whom they had gone for advice. The splendid beauty of 
the valley visible from the Umptanum ridge so appealed to them that they made 
a location a mile above the mouth of the Manashtash. The Indians said, "Snow 
fall Injun deep ; awful cold ; white man can't stand it." And in fact they had a 
severe Winter and the next Spring went eastward and took a claim on what is 
now the southern part of Ellensburg. They found William Wilson living- there 
with the Indians, the same who is said to have put up the first cabin on the site 
of Ellensburg. It appears that Wilson was drowned in Snake River the next 
year while trying to run ofif some stolen horses. 

In 1868 several of the best known families of the Yakima Valley became 
permanently located. Among them may be mentioned William and Edward 
Henderson and Charles Carpenter who settled on the Ahtanum. Above the 
Wileys, Daniel Lynch made a location. Alfred Miller located in the Wenas. In 
1868 the scanty settlement in Kittitas was augmented by two notable arrivals. 
Tilman Houser from Renton, Washington, took up a preemption claim on Cole- 


man Creek ten miles northeast of Ellensburg. In the same year Charles Splawn, 
as already narrated, settled on the Taneum Creek on what later became known 
as the Thorp ranch. With 1868 there were therefore iwo families and three 
bachelors in the Kittitas. Mrs. Splawn and Mrs. Houser were the first white 
women living in that region. 

The year 1869 was a great year in the beginnings of settlement. In that 
year the father of Yakima, Mortimer Thorp, made yet another move. To the 
historian it would seem as though he would be content to stay settled and enjoy 
the fruits of his energy on the spot which will always be known as the nucleus 
of Yakima settlements. But no! He was a genuine frontiersman, and such he 
remained till the last. So he forsook tlie Moxee and moved to the Taneum 
Creek in the upper Kittitas, near the present town of Thorp. There he lived 
out the remainder of his restless, ambitious and useful life. One of the noblest 
contributions to the Ahtanum of 1869 was Elisha Tanner. Having known him 
from childhood the author can testify to the affectionate regard in which he and 
his family were held by all who knew them in their former homes in Oregon and 
at White Salmon, and later in Yakima. Like all the early settlers he engaged 
in the stock business, but was one of those who foresaw the capability of the 
Yakima Valley to sustain a large population with varied industries. In 1870 
Mr. Tanner moved his family to the place which he had taken on the Ahtanum, 
and for ten years was one of the leaders in every good word and work. In 
1880 his life was prematurely ended by a distressing accident on the Naches 
River. He was crossing the river on the ferry, and through the almost crim- 
inal carelessness of the ferryman in having no rear guard, the team becoming 
frightened, backed off the boat into the water. In the struggle in the water 
Mr. Tanner was struck by the horses and drowned. To the Ahtanum in 1869 
also came W. P. Crosno and his family, and they must be counted among the 
leaders to this day in laying the foundations. The Flynns, the Blands, the 
Tigards, and the La Chappelles also came in that year. Yet another arrival of 
high standing was James W. Beek. Perhaps the most notable event of 1869 
was the establishment of a store at what soon became Yakima City by Sumner 
Barker, joined a year later by his brother, O. D. Barker. Another event worthy 
to be chronicled was the marriage in that year of Leonard Thorp and Philena 
Henson. Soon after their marriage they took up a homestead in Selah Valley 
and there they lived many years. The first settlement in tiie region of the pres- 
ent Granger was made in 1869 by Martin Holbrook. 

After 1869 settlers came so thick and fast that it will exceed our limits to 
tabulate them. We may perhaps consider the year 1870 as the dividing line 
between the beginnings of settlement and the larger growth. Several events 
of special importance may be named as marking the transition. In 1870 George 
Goodwin, one of the settlers of 1865, opened a store near that of Barker Broth- 
ers. With a second store the name of Yakima City began to be used for the 
little cluster of houses. At about the same time Charles Schanno and his 
brother Joseph took up claims on the sagebrush flat, and the main part of 
Yakima City grew up on those claims. The Schanno brothers established the 
third store, a good deal more extensive than either of the others, and began to 


do business in almost the modern manner. More signincant even than the 
stores was the fact of the beginnings of irrigation. For the destiny of Yakima 
is practically interwoven with the irrigating systems. To Thomas and Benton 
Goodwin must be accorded the honor of the first irrigating canal. It was laid 
out in 1866, and conducted water to land about a mile south of the present city 
of Yakima. By means of this the Goodwins raised a small crop of wheat, the 
first in the Valley, forty bushels to the acre. In 1869 Captain Simmons and Mr. 
Vaughn with others made a short canal under a sort of cooperative system, con- 
veying water from the Naches River to lands below the junction of the rivers. 
It was the ancestor of the Union Canal. The Schannos undertook a much more 
extensive enterprise in 1870. They dug a canal from a point on the Ahtanum 
near the Carpenter place to Yakima City. That is often supposed to be the 
first real ditch for irrigating purposes in the Yakima, but it was antedated by 
the two described. Even their canals, it should be remembered, were preceded 
by one dug by Indians. That Indian ditch was on the place near Tampico, now 
owned by Wallace Wiley, and conveyed water for "Kamiakin's Gardens." It 
was made as early, probably, as 1852 or 1853. Among many matters of general 
interest in that period of the sixties, we should mention the beginning of 
schools. We have already named Mrs. Letitia Flett Haines as the first teacher 
and the date as 1862. But that school was a private one for the children of 
]\Iortimer Thorp. The first county commissioners appointed in February, 1868, 
the first county superintendent of schools. We shall have much more to say 
of this in the chapter dealing with schools, but suffice it to say here that the 
settlers on the Yakima, true to American ideals, saw to it that schools were 
started at once. A schoolhouse was built between Yakima City and the present 
Yakima. The pioneer teachers in that building, according to the recollections 
of Mr. Thorp and other old-timers, were Joe Lawrence, Martha Beck and 
Doctor Clark. 

As will readily be seen by the reader, we have not undertaken to give a 
complete list of settlers in those earliest years. We have undertaken to name 
those who were first in the leading regions, and especially those who by reason 
of permanent residence and subsequent connection with the growth of their 
respective localities may be said to have had the closest connection with the 
histor)'. In later chapters we shall have occasion to bring' out further facts in 
regard to some of the pioneers named, as well as other facts about other 

It may be noted that while we have named first locations in the vicinity 
of Yakima, and other points in the upper and central valleys, we have given 
practically nothing of the beginnings in the lower Valley. From Mabton down 
there was no permanent settlement till many years later. The first settlers of 
Prosser, Kiona, Kennewick, and Richland, belonged to a later vintage. It was 
not till about 1879 and two or three years later that C. J. Beach at Kennewick, 
Ben Rosencrantz, Jack Roberts, and Joe Baxter at Richland, and Nelson Rich, 
W. F. Prosser and the Taylors near Prosser, began to lay the first foundations. 
The above statement should be qualified by adding that Smith Barnum was 
living at the mouth of the Yakima River in 1875, and that by a memorial of the 


Territorial Legislature, the postmaster-general was requested to establish a mail 
route through the Yakima Valley, with Smith Bamum as postmaster at the 
mouth of the river. Yet the general body of the lower Valley settlers and their 
followers belong properly to the period coming in with the railroad in the eigh- 
ties. We are here giving rather a panoramic than an encyclopedic view. 


During the period of beginnings at those pivotal points of the valley which 
at first were stock ranges but were destined to become gardens, orchards, and 
cities, there was running along parallel with them another sort of a period, 
equally inevitable with that of the cowboy. This was the era of the prospector 
and the miner. The pick and the gold pan were as active as the shaps and the 
quirt. Every new opening in the west had a rainbow hanging somewhere on a 
gold mine, and the Yakima Valley was no exception. And it was no wonder. 
Take into account the California goldfields, Idaho, British Columbia, Colville, 
and he would have been a slow immigrant indeed who did not have dazzling 
visions of floods of yellow dust at every turn of the landscape. As a matter of 
fact, as we have learned by quotations from Government reports in our first 
chapter, portions of the mountains in which the Yakima and itse tributaries rise 
have the geological formation and history from which the precious metals are 
to be expected. Confidence was not entirely misplaced, then, by those eager 
prospectors who in the fifties and sixties took their lives in their hands and 
threaded the defiles and burrowed in the canon walls and lost themselves in the 
declivities with which the great wall of the Cascade Mountains fronts the sun- 
rise. Nor were they entirely unsuccessful. Considerable gold has actually been 
found in central Washington, and there is reason to believe that there may yet 
be paying mines. But largely the prospector and miner have faded away into 
the mists of the earlier age. 

There are two fine stories so characteristic of that time of feverish expec- 
tations that we deem it worth while to relate them here. They are given in 
the "History of Central Washington" as received by the author of that work 
from Charles Splawn. It seems that a certain Captain lugalls, who had dis- 
covered gold in the Coos Bay section, came to the Columbia River in the time 
of the Indian wars of 1855-56, and served as a scout. In company with a 
friendly Indian named Colowash he found upon the Wenatchee River several 
nuggets and an appearance that denoted good placer diggings. Fearful of being 
discovered by the hostiles they did not linger, but left, with all plans of return- 
ing at a more favorable time. When the war was over Ingalls hastened back 
to the "lost mine." It was lost, sure enough. He found never a trace of the 
nugget bearing drift. He then went to Klickitat where Colowash lived, to re- 
enlist him. But no! Nothing would induce Colowash to go again. Ingalls 
made another effort. He organized a small party to make a thorough search. 
But misfortune seemed to dog their steps. One of the party accidentally shot 
and killed the one on whom they were chiefly depending for guidance. The 
next efifort to find the lost mine was made by Charles Splawn. In 1860 he 
planned a trip to the Similkanieen mines. Before going he sought information 


from Colowash about the "lost mine." While the Indian refused to go, he was 
willing to describe the place and made a map of it. He stated that it was on 
the Peshastin Creek and this is in the group of mountains of which Mount 
Stuart is the dominating summit, so magnificant from the Kittitas Valley. On 
his return from Similkameen Mr. Splawn induced four other returning miners 
to join him in the search for the Ingalls discovery. With an Indian guide they 
made their way up the Peshastin, and in a narrow canon Mr. Splawn found 
a good prospect. Meeting still another prospector named Russell they showed 
him the gold and allowed him to take it to Seattle. As a result of his exhibition 
of the treasure, quite an excitement arose and a number of miners hastened to 
Peshastin. Though a number of nuggets, some of the value of twelve dollars, 
were found, those Peshastin mines did not prove of great extent, and the dizzy 
expectations set afloat by Ingalls and Colowash are still in the air. 

In 1862 an old Indian named Zokeseye took some silver-bearing ore to Fort 
Simcoe. The secretary at the agency, whose name was Walker, took the speci- 
men with him to The Dalles. Having become overly confidential while under 
the influence of some of the stalwart liquids which r.bounded at that city. 
Walker exhibited the ore freely. An experienced California miner named 
Blachley, seeing the ore and realizing its value, assayed it, and found it nearly 
two-thirds silver. Being eager to hunt the source of the wondrously rich rock, 
Blachley sought information of Walker, by whom he was referred to Mortimer 
Thorp, already so prominent in our history. Meanwhile old Zokeseye had been 
so disobliging as to die, so that Mr. Thorp was compelled to secure other Indian 
guides. But for that trip the quest was hopeless. Blachley made another effort 
the next year. In company with Charles Splawn, he went al! through the upper 
Yakima, the Wenatchee, and the Mount Baker regions. But all in vain. The 
"lost mine" remained lost, and has not been found to this day. 

Quite a gold discovery was made in 1864 at Ringold bar on the Columbia. 
Leonard Thorp among others, went from Moxee to seek his fortune in the sands 
of the river. Though he found nothing of value, quite a good deal of gold 
was found there by others. The white miners cleaned up $30,000 or $40,000 
while Chinese took out an amount not known. The Chinese have always been 
fond of mining on the bars of the Columbia and Snake rivers. It is well known 
that there is almost boundless wealth in gold dust on those bars, but it is so fine 
that no profitable method of mining has yet been discovered. The existence of 
such quantities of gold dust along the big rivers denotes, in the minds of some 
miners, the location at the sources of those rivers of some vast "mother lodes," 
which, if found, may yield the fabulous returns of treasure once imagined. 


In concluding this chapter we will give two stories from A. J. Splawn's 
"Kamiakin, the Last Hero of the Yakimas," which will illustrate the serio- 
comic character of some of the events in "the brave days of old." Readers from 
the older states may ask us just how old those brave days are, when middle aged 
people now living can remember them. We are obliged to confess that it is 
rather stretching a point to call them old. But it is the best we can do. Nothing 
and nobody is really old in Yakima. 


The first of these entertaining tales is about the administration of justice at 
a certain time in Yakima City : 

"In those early days there wandered into Yakima City one J. W. Hamble- 
ton, a man far above the average in brains and education, but who, like many 
of his kind, had only two useful organs in his body — his mouth and his throat. 
He had the gift of gab, and his throat was the canal for conveying the large 
quantities of firewater necessary to keep his stomach going. He claimed to be 
a lawyer. At any rate, he was prosecuting attorney for Yakima County for one 

"At the time, two border ruffians, Ingraham and McBride, kept an Indian 
trading post at the mouth of the Wenatchee, where a Mr. Warren was em- 
ployed as the handy man, an important position in the line of business con- 
ducted by Ingraham and McBride. In traveling through that country I often 
found in the Indian villages, kegs of whisky with tin cups near by where all, 
big, little, old and young, could help themselves. I was told the Indians bought 
it of this firm. 

"In November, early in the 70s, Mr. Warren appeared in Yakima City. I 
chanced to meet him and he told me he had come to swear out a warrant for 
the arrest of Ingraham and McBride for selling liquor to the Indians. They 
had had a row among themselves, it seems, and Warren was going to get even. 
I told him he was taking chances, since he was equally guilty with the other two, 
but he swore to the information and the warrant was put in the hands of the 
deputy sheriff who with a small posse soon brought in Ingraham and McBride. 
E. P. Boyle, a weak man as well as a poor lawyer, was engaged to defend these 
two scoundrels who, for pure cussedness, could not be excelled anywhere on the 

"When Hambleton, the prosecuting attorney, read the complaint to the 
court, as there was no jury, and stated that he could prove all the allegations 
and plenty besides, with some other remarks not complimentary to the pris- 
oners, the judge, looking over his spectacles at the two men searchingly, remarked 
that he believed all the prosecuting attorney said and thought moreover that it 
was high time to suppress the lawlessness running rampant on the frontier, 
and adjourned the court till two P. M. 

"During all this time, E. P. Boyle, the defendants' attorney, was sitting 
dazed. The pace had become too swift for his feeble mind. 

"Meeting me outside of the courthouse, Mr. Ingraham said, 'J^ck, do you 
believe I could buy off the prosecuting attorney?' 

"I told him that I was no go-between, but that the prosecuting attorney 
was in bad with the saloon, neither having paid a cent nor missed a drink since 
Adam's time. A little later Ingraham and Hambleton came into Schanno's 
store, where I happened to be. The latter stepped up to Jo Schanno and asked 
if he had gold scales. The scales were brought and Hambleton gave orders 
that Jo should weigh out one hundred and fifty dollars. Ingraham then took 
from his pocket a buckskin purse and poured the dust into the scales until it 
balanced the weight Jo had fixed. Hambleton poured the gold from the scale 
into his own purse and the two left the store. 


"Having witnessed that transaction, Jo and I thought it would be inter- 
esting to see how he disposed of the case and we were in the courtroom promptly 
on the hour. Hambleton arose and with a grave and solemn look addressed the 
court thus : 

" 'Your Honor, while I am a firm believer in law enforcement, yet as prose- 
cutor we oft go too far. In our eagerness to convict, we too often overlook 
justice. I sincerely hope that it will never fall to my lot to convict innocent 
men. Far be it from me to lend a helping hand to ruin any one. Since the ad- 
journment of this court for the noon hour, I have learned the true facts in this 
case. It is appalling to think how near we came to convicting two innocent men. 
This culprit, Mr. Warren, should not be allowed to remain longer in our midst. 
The base ingrate has been fed and clothed by these defendants and like the 
viper he is, seeks to destroy his benefactors. I refuse to be the means of helping 
this cowering cur in his hellish plot and wish to dismiss the case.' 

"The judge, believing the prosecutor, became aroused and calling upon 
Warren to stand up before the court said: 'By all justice you ought to be hung. 
Go hence from here and as quickly as possible shake the dust of Yakima from 
your contaminated feet. Go now and keep going. See to it that you never 
return, lest this court lose its patience and give you what is coming.' 

"Ingram and McBride went back to their trading post and continued to 
sell liquor to the Indians. Hambleton, a few years later, was lecturing on tem- 
pearance in Iowa. Warren went over to Walla Walla and there got Ingraham 
and McBride convicted and sentenced to a year each in the penitentiary." 

The second narrative is of the first wedding in Kittitas. 

"Fred Bennett, an old German who lived on the other side of Wilson 
Creek, used to come in pretty often and sample the free bottle that sat 
on the shelf. I suggested one day that he better go slow or he would not be 
able to get over the foot log across the creek. 'I chust bet you fife toller,' he 
said, 'I can trink all in dot bottle and den valk ofer dot log.' It seemed to me a 
good gamble, for if I won, I would be reimbursed for all the free whiskey he 
had drunk. He finished the bottle and struck out for home, I following close 
behind. He was so sure of himself and so happy that he was holding conver- 
sation with himself thus : 'I haf got Jack dis time ; I yust get his visky and his 
fife toller for noddings.' He came to the log. Straightening up, he set his 
eyes on the opposite shore and started over. A little way out on the log, he 
began to reel. A single cry, 'O Gott,' and the sound of splashing water told of 
Bennett's bath — no doubt his first for many years. I pulled him out on his 
own side of the creek and sent him home. 

"On the way from Yakima to Kittitas lived Matthias Becker and his jewel 
of a wife. Mrs. Becker had a heart full of goodness and an ability as cook 
which could not be equalled in that neck of the woods. I flattered myself that 
there always awaited me a welcome there, but what was my surprise, one day 
in November, 1870, to be greeted at the Becker place by a cold stare. In the 
house sat my friend, John Gillispie and Mrs. Becker's sister, Caroline Gerlick, 
whom we all called Linnie. I wondered what I had done to lose their friend- 
ship, but without inquiring, beat a hasty retreat to my horse, where stood my 
friend Willie, patting him. 


" 'Don't go, Mr. Splawn,' said Willie, 'John and Linnie are going to get 
married and don't want any one to know.' 

"That being the case, I returned to the house and sat down, remarking 
that the unusually chilly atmosphere certainly boded ill for some one; if a catas- 
trophe were hanging over the premises, I hoped to be near to avert it. Mrs. 
Becker laughed then and said, 'We can't fool Jack and might just as well tell 
him. We are waiting for the justice (my friend of the log-walking episode) 
to marry this couple,' and she pointed to the bashful lovers sitting apart. 

"A few moments later the Hon. Frederick Bennett arrived. He had rigged 
up for the occasion in Ben Burch's old pants, a mite too short, and my best coat, 
which fitted him likewise, but my shirt with a large striped collar set him off 
for any social emergency. The ceremony was brief — 'Shoin your right hands. 
By this you signify that you lofe one anuder. Py de laws of our country and 
de bower in me, I bronounce you vife and vife.' I caught his eye and shook 
my head. He hastened to correct the mistake with, 'I don"t mean dot : I means 
husband and vife.' 
"Thus was performed the first marriage ceremony in the Kittitas Valley." 

With these experiences, tragic and humorous, strenuous and easy, accord- 
ing to the times and seasons, with the lights and shadow's of pioneer life, the 
communities of Yakima emerged from the chrysalis stage and appeared as a 
full-grown county, and of that part of the life we speak in another chapter. 










On March 3, 1853, the Congress of the United States created the Territory 
of Washington, and soon following the President appointed Isaac I. Stevens 
governor. A Territorial Legislature met promptly and look the steps neces- 
sary to set the governmental machinery in motion. Sixteen counties were laid 
out, fifteen of them west of the Cascade Mountains. The sixteenth was Walla 
Walla and it was defined as follows : "Commencing its line on the north bank 
of the Columbia River, opposite the mouth of the Des Chutes River, and rtm- 
ning thence north to the forty-ninth parallel of Washington Territory between 
this line and the Rocky Mountains."' That original Walla Walla County never 
qualified, and since the Indian wars came on the next year, everything was sus- 
pended, awaiting settled conditions. 

In 1858 the Territorial Legislature laid out Spokane County, and that em- 
braced the larger part of the first Walla Walla County. But that first Spokane 
County also died "a-bornin," and in 1859, the Legislature brought into existence 
another county in this uneasy and war- racked territory east of the mountains. 
This was Klickitat, spelled in the legislative act Clikatat. The county included 
the entire area between the Columbia River and Cascade Mountains. So mat- 
ters rested for a time. In 1863 Congress laid out the new Territory of Idaho, 
thus cutting ofif a large part of Washington on the east. In that same year the 
county of Stevens was established to include the remaining area of the Terri- 
tory of Washington east of the Columbia and north of the Snake. In the same 
act one more county come into being, which has been lost in the mutations of 
time and fate, so that not many know that it ever existed. That lost county 
was Ferguson. By act of the legislature on January 12, 1863, a county with 
that name was outlined with these boundaries: Simcoe Mountains on the south, 
Cascade Mountains on the West, Walla Walla and Stevens counties on the east, 
and the Wenatchee River on the north. Thus it will be seen that Ferguson 
County covered practically the area of this history. Klickitat was reduced to 
its present limits. 



The legislative act named a set of officials for Ferguson County, only one 
of whom, F. Mortimer Thorp, was an actual settler. At that time there were 
not a hundred people living in the whole vast area, and they felt no need of the 
incumbrance of a county government. Hence the appointees never qualified 
and Ferguson, too, died "a-bornin." 

Just two years after the creation of Ferguson County, another act was 
passed repealing the first and establishing another to be known as Yakima 
County. This was practically the same as Ferguson County, but the eastern 
boundary was defined differently. The act named Charles Splawn, J. H. 
Wilbur and William Parker as commissioners, Gilbert Pell as sheriff, William 
Wright as auditor, and F. M. Thorp as treasurer. The house of William Wright 
at Fort Simcoe was designated as the official seat. J. H. Wilbur at that time 
had begun his long and useful career as Indian agent for the Yakima Reserva- 
tion. The general inclination of the settlers was averse to a county organiza- 
tion even yet, and especially were they disinclined to have the county head- 
quarters tied up to the reservation. Hence the county program languished an- 
other two years. In 1867 Governor Marshall F. Moore became insistent that 
an organization be effected. He designated as the official headquarters the home 
of F. M. Thorp in Moxee and appointed the following list of officers : C. P. 
Cooke, F. M. Thorp and Alfred Henson for commissioners; Charles A. Splawn 
for sheriff, J. W. Grant for auditor, and E. W. Lyen tor treasurer. Thus 
Yakima County came into official existence. 

For permanent reference the act of January 21, 186.S, creating the county 
should appear in full, and we insert it at this point. 

An Act 
Establishing and Organizing the County of Yakima. 

Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Washington: 
Section I. That the territory heretofore embraced in the county of Ferguson, 
lying and being south of a line running due west from a point two miles above 
the lower steamboat landing at Priest's Rapids, on the Columbia River, to the 
summit of the Cascade J^Iountains, be, and the same is hereby, constituted and 
organized into a separate county, to be known as and called Yakima County. 

Section 2. That said territory shall compose a county for civil and military 
purposes, and be subject to all the laws relating to counties, and be entitled to 
elect the same officers as other counties are entitled to elect. 

Section 3. That, until the next general election, William Parker, J. H. 
Wilbur and Charles Splawn be and are hereby appointed county commissioners ; 
that William Wright be and is hereby appointed county auditor; that [F. M.] 
Thorp be and is hereby appointed county treasurer, and Gilbert Pell be and is 
hereby appointed sheriff, who shall, before entering upon the discharge of the 
duties of their respective offices, qualify in the manner as is now required by law 
for county officers. 

Section 4. The county seat of said county of Yakima is temporarily 
located at the house of William Wright. 


Section 5. That the said county of Yakima is attached for judicial pur- 
poses and for the election of members of the Legislative Assembly, to the county 
of Stevens. 

Section 6. This act to take effect and be in force from and after its 

Approved January 21, 1865. 

A. J. Splawn was deputized to assess the property of the new county in 1868. 
In his own account of it he says that he had no disputes with the people. "If 
they were poor, I passed them up; if well-to-do, they set their own valuation. 
We needed but little and wanted no surplus." The resuK of the election of 
1868, the first in Yakima, was as follows: Alfred Henson, G. W. Allen and 
Thomas Goodwin, commissioners; Charles A. Splawn, sheriff; John Lindsey, 
assessor; E. W. Lyen, treasurer; S. C. Taylor, school superintendent; Henry 
Davis, coroner. 

The county seat was maintained at Mr. Thorp's house till his departure 
for Kittitas in 1869. After having been at C. P. Cooke's house a short time, 
the county seat became located at a building on a block given by Barker Broth- 
ers, the first storekeepers at Yakima City. That first courthouse was a story 
and a half structure, the upstairs being used for a courtroom and recorder's 
office, while the sheriff's office and the jail were located below. In 1880 the 
second "old courthouse" was built, but it was burned on March 31, 1882. Then 
the third "old courthouse" came into being, and was moved to North Yakima in 

At the time of the establishment of the county there had been no survey, 
and the settlers were obliged to stake out their own claims. In 1864 Charles A. 
White had run out the third standard parallel, but there were no subdivisions 
surveyed. That work was undertaken in 1866 by L. P. Beach. He is said by 
A. J. Splawn to have been an Olympia politician with all the qualifications of 
that tribe. A few townships which he surveyed in Selah, Cowiche, Naches and 
Ahtanum were found incorrectly laid out. 

The mail service began in the primitive manner usual in the frontier. In 
1867 the settlers arranged to take turns in going to Umatilla for mail. A year 
later a bargain was made with a man named Parson to carry mail for the set- 
tlers. Not till 1870 was there any government service. In 1875 a memorial 
was addressed to the postmaster-general by the legislature of the Territory 
asking for improved service. That memorial bears in an interesting way on the 
conditions in Yakima in 1875. It sets forth that there were over 2,000 people 
in the Yakima Valley and that the population was increasing very rapidly by 
reason of gold discoveries, as well as by the rich agricultural and grazing lands, 
that a large part of the inhabitants were destitute of any mail facilities and that 
whatever sen'ice there was took very circuitous routes ; viz., by way of Wallula 
and Umatilla over the foot hills of the Blue Mountains and via the Columbia 
River to Puget Sound. The legislature therefore prayed that a route be estab- 
lished from Seattle via the Snoqualmie Pass to EUensburgh, thence to Yakima 
City, thence to Smith Bamum's at the mouth of the Yakima, and thence to 


In connection with this enlarged mail service it is worthy of record that 
in that same year of 1875 the settlers in the Yakima got together and made a 
road over the Simcoe Mountains by way of Satus Creek, which met on the sum- 
mit another road constructed from Goldendale by the Klickitat people. The 
meeting of these two roads was almost as big an event to the settlers as the 
meeting of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific with the driving of the golden 
spike. A. J. Splawn speaks in picturesque language of the romantic history of 
that road. Over it passed the first stage coaches and mails. Along its course 
were strung the freight wagons and thousands of cattle. At the summit 
Al Lillie kept a station where the best of meals were served, and where the 
"angel face of Mrs. Lillie," as Mr. Splawn says, gave a beaming welcome to the 
hungry traveller. The writer of this can testify to both meals and angel face 
from the experience of a solitary journey of his own in 1880. The keen appe- 
tite of a healthy youth found ample satisfaction in the abundant viands at the 
Lillie roadhouse on the airy heights of the Simcoes. That famous road almost 
fell into disuse for some time after the railroad came to Y'akima, but it is inter- 
esting to note that it is, in some of its extent, born again for automobile traffic 
in the present new era of transportation. 

The political history of Yakima County has been, like that of the other 
counties of the Territory and State, colored by the general questions of national 
and state politics, with local considerations of its own. As the county was 
founded during the period of the Civil War, there was naturally intense feeling 
on that subject. It is rather curious that in Yakima, as also in Walla Walla, 
the early settlers were mainly democrats, and there were a good many actual 
southern sympathizers. We say curious, for the reason that both Yakima and 
Walla Walla became later on overwhelmingly republican. Yet there was noth- 
ing curious about it, after all. The early population of Oregon and Washing- 
ton came largely from Missouri. While that great state remained with the 
Union, and the fact that it did was one of the great factors in saving the Union, 
yet Missouri had been a slave state and the people had largely the prejudices 
against negroes engendered by the era of slavery. They were disposed there- 
fore to look askance at "abolitionists and Black republicans," and during the 
era just before the war were more inclined to follow Douglas than Lincoln as 
a political guide. But as the war went on the great issues became more clear. 
One of the most significant developments of American history is that the great 
rank and file of the pioneer stock of Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and of the 
free states adjoining them on the north, have been democratic in all the social 
relations of life, and nationalist in politics. It could not in fact be otherwise. 
The so-called Democracy of the Old South was not Democracy. Calhoun and 
Davis never were real democrats at all. The name Democracy applied to the 
element which led the South into secession was the greatest misnomer in our 
national history. The South was an aristocracy, a feudalism, based on slavery 
and social and political inequality. As the war progressed, the eyes of the 
Western and Southwestern people, largely the offspring of the "Poor White" 
class of the older South, became opened. They began to see the shallow oppor- 
tunism of Douglas and the lofty nationalism and humanity of Lincoln. Prob- 
ably the most effective stroke of statesmanship of all those great strokes which 


have placed Lincoln in the forefront of the world's statesmen, was that series 
of statements in his messages in 1861 and 1862, by which he convinced the great 
body of the "plain people," as he liked to call them, that the attempt to disrupt 
the Union was an attack on free labor, that slavery and disunion were based on 
the postulate that labor was inferior to capital, that black slavery involved 
white slavery also, that the whole animus of the Secession movement was to sus- 
tain the old dogma of "the divine right of kings against the common rights of 
humanity." The Missourians and other western immigrants to Oregon and 
Washington were, unlike the slave-holders and secessionists of the old South, 
real democrats. When they got a really distinct view of that bogus Democracy 
of the secession movement and of the servitors among the "dough-face" northern 
politicians, their transition to the support of Lincoln's nationalistic and emanci- 
pation policies became rapid and decisive. It was that class of people that 
helped the great President save the Union. Instead of being Douglas democrats 
they became Lincoln republicans. That last category contained, be it observed, 
the genuine democrats ; i. e., those who believed in "Government of the people, 
by the people, and for the people." 

It is again one of the most significant movements in our political history 
that when in the judgment of that same class of people, those who think for 
themselves, the republican party of twenty or thirty years later became the tool 
of monopolistic interests in tariff and monetary measures, much as the old 
democratic party had been the tool of slavery, they repudiated it also, and became 
progressives and democrats, new democrats, and elected Woodrow Wilson pres- 
ident. Wilson and Lincoln, with simple changes of party names, have had a 
marvelous similarity of support, and to a marvelous degree have been the re- 
vealers of similar stages of political evolution. 

The settlers of Yakima and Walla Walla, like those or other parts of the 
Northwest, went through those stages of political evolution ; democrats, repub- 
licans, and democrats again ; all the time genuine Americans, liberty-loving, 
free-souled, independent, thinking for themselves, not likely to be the cat's-paws 
of political shysters, and hence offering poor material for the manipulations of 
party bosses. Yaliima County and the counties carved from it have been active 
in supporting those measures, initiative, referendum and recall, which have 
liberated the people from the wire-pullers, as well as woman suffrage and pro- 
hibition and allied measures, which have liberated the people from the preda- 
tory classes. Of some of these movements we shall speak later. 

Perhaps the greatest local questions in the political field have been poli- 
cies pertaining to irrigation, to railroads and to county division. To these topics 
we shall give space in later chapters. 

We have named in preceding pages the official appointees in 1867. and the 
results of the first election held in 1868. It may be noted here that all of those 
first county officers were democrats. The vote in that election was very small. 
For delegate to Congress, Frank Clark, democrat, received 25, to 19 for Alvin 
Flanders, republican. 

It is of interest to note the vote cast in 1870 for county seat. The results 
were : Yakima City or "Mount Ottawa," 89 votes ; Flint's Store, 20 votes ; Selah, 
18; Kittitas Valley, 3. A vote of the same time is recorded on the question of 


a constitutional convention for a new state. The vote was overwhelmingly 
negative, being 97 to 5. It is curious in looking over early political records to 
see how persistently a certain small number of restless politicians kept agitating 
the question of statehood, and how emphatically they were turned down 
for so long a period. For twenty years that agitation was carried on. 
The election of 1870 resulted thus : Delegate to Congress, James D. Mix, demo- 
crat, 71, Selucius Garfielde, republican, 60; attorney, N. T. Caton, democrat, 69; 
joint councilman with Skamania, Clark and Klickitat, S. B. Curtis, repubHcan, 
64, E. S. Joslyn, democrat, 56: joint representative with Klickitat, H. V. Harper, 
democrat, 69, H. D. Cock, republican, 55; probate judge, Alfred Henson, demo- 
crat, 65, A. M. Miller, republican, 57 ; commissioners, John Beck, George Tay- 
lor and C. P. Cooke, democrats, chosen over Purdy Flint, A. W. Bull and J. B. 
Nelson, republicans ; auditor H. M. Benton, republican, chosen over G. W. 
Parrish, democrat ; sheriff, Thomas Pierce, repubHcan, chosen over G. W. 
Goodwin, democrat ; treasurer, E. W. Lyen, democrat, chosen over J. P. 
Mattoon, republican ; assessor, William Lindsey, democrat, chosen over Charles 
Harper, republican; surveyor, C. S. Irby; school superintendent, C. P. Cooke, 
democrat, over Charles Reed, republican; coroner, W. P. Crosno, democrat, over 
David Heaton, republican. 

The election returns of 1872 are not found in full. The vote for delegate 
to Congress was 129 for Selucius Garfielde, republican, to 122 for O. B. McFad- 
den, democrat. R. O. Dunbar, republican, was chosen joint councilman over 
B. F. Shaw, democrat, by 154 to 74. C. P. Cooke, democrat, was chosen joint 
representative over R. Whitney, republican, by 170 to 7Z. T. J. Anders, repub- 
lican, for joint attorney with Walla Walla received 139 to 108 for J. D. Mix. 
It should be observed that there were three joint officers. Councilman in the leg- 
islature was joint with Klickitat, Skamania and Clarke coimties. Representa- 
tive was joint with Klickitat. Attorney was joint with Walla Walla and 

The election of 1874 was signalized by a "bolt" and hence possessed more 
than ordinary interest. The bolt was in the republican ranks in respect to the 
office of auditor. H. M. Benton was the "regular" nominee, and Edward Whit- 
son became an opposition candidate under a party called the "people's party." 
This was the first entrance into politics of Edward Whitson, who then began 
his long and distinguished career as a lawyer and jurist, culminating in the 
Federal judgeship for the Eastern district of Washington. 

The results of the election of 1874 were as follows : Delegate to Congress, 
Orange Jacobs, republican, 203, to 82 for B. L. Sharpstein, democrat; joint 
councilman, B. F. Shaw, democrat, 127, to 84 for S. McDonald; joint represen- 
tative, C. P. Cooke, democrat, 186, to 100 for D. J. Schnebly, republican; attor- 
ney, J. V. Odell, democrat, 129, to 109 for T. J. Anders, republican ; commis- 
sioners, Charles Walker and P. J- Flint, democrats, and J. B. Dickerson, repub- 
lican, elected; sheriff, William Lewis, republican, chosen over L. L. Thorp, 
democrat ; assessor, J. J. Burch, democrat ; treasurer, E. P. Boyls, democrat, 
over T. McAusland, republican; auditor (and here was the crucial point of the 
election), Edward Whitson of the people's party, 179, to 109 for H. M. Ben- 




ton, republican ; school superintendent, J. O. Clark, republican, chosen over 
T. S. Meade, democrat; J. R. Filkin for probate judge on the democratic ticket 
was chosen over J. W. Stevenson of the people's party and J. B. Nelson of the 
republicans ; coroner J. W. Allen, republican ; surveyor, C. A. Wilcox, demo- 
crat ; both the last without opposition. The inevitable vote on constitutional 
convention was taken, with a scanty number, 22 for and -1-1 against. 


The election of 1876 showed the following results : For delegate to Con- 
gress, Orange Jacobs, republican, received 169 to 109 for his democratic oppo- 
nent, J. P. Judson; for joint councilman, Levi Farnsworth, republican, re- 
ceived an overwhelming majority ; for joint representative, Edward Whitson, 
republican, had 133 to 114 for S. T. Sterling, democrat, and 22 for T. B. 
Barnes ; for commissioners, J. P. Sharp, Samuel Chappell, J. J. Lewis, repub- 
licans, and David Longmire, democrat, were chosen; sheriff, J. K. Milligan, 
independent, was chosen over J. J. Burch, democrat, and George Carpenter, 
republican; for auditor, J. W. Masters, republican, was chosen; treasurer, A. J. 
Pratt was the successful candidate ; James Kesling, republican, chosen for pro- 
bate judge; for school superintendent, J. P. Marks, republican; surveyor, C. A. 
Wilcox, democrat ; coroner, J. W. Allen, republican. There was a remarkable 
change in the vote for constitutional convention this year, being 44 yes, 1 no. 

The election of 1878 might be considered a quiet one. There was a steady 
growth and no "burning" local issue. 

The results of the election were these : Delegate to Congress, Thomas H. 
Brents, republican, 212, N. T. Caton, democrat, 208; joint councilman, R. O. 
Dunbar, republican, 209, to 201 for Hiram Dustin, democrat ; joint representa- 
tive, Levi Farnsworth, republican, 222, to 183 for C. P. Cooke, democrat; attor- 
ney, W. G. Langford, republican, 220. to 192 for R. F. Sturdevant, democrat; 
other successful candidates were : L. H. Brooks, probate judge ; J. W. Masters, 
auditor; sheriff and assessor (one offTJcer performing both duties), F. D. 
Schnebly; David Longmire, A. A. Meade and A. J. McDaniel for commission- 
ers ; treasurer, A. J. Pratt ; G. W. Parrish, school superintendent ; A. J. McKin- 
ney for coroner; Levi Farnsworth, surveyor; on constitutional convention, 210 
for and 90 against. 

The rapid growth of the valley showed itself in the election of 1880. The 
vote for Congressional delegates showed an increase over 1878 from 420 to 595. 
For delegate, Thomas H. Brents was reelected by 311 to 284 for Thomas Burke, 
his democratic opponent. The results of the election to other positions were as 
follows : For joint councilman, J. W. Greden, republican, 308, to 270 for William 
Bigham, democrat; representative, George S. Taylor, democrat, 315, to 259 for 
J. A. Shoudy, republican: attorney, D. P. Ballard, republican, 332, to 234 
for E. P. Boyls, democrat ; local candidates chosen : L. H. Brooks, probate judge ; 
S. T. Munson, auditor; F. D. Schnebly, sheriff and assessor; G. J. Gervais, 
treasurer; W. G. Douglass, Robert Dunn, and A. J. McDaniel for commission- 
ers ; W. H. Peterson, school superintendent ; I. A. Navarre, surveyor ; M. 
Beeker, sheep commissioner; and C. J. Taft, coroner. Of the above local offi- 
cers, Messrs. Brooks, Schnebly, Gervais, McDaniel and Peterson were demo- 



crats, while Messrs. Munson, Douglass, Dunn, Navarre, Beeker, and Taft were 

At their meeting of August 9, 1882, the commissioners laid out three com- 
missioner districts, of which the first embraced the central and older portion 
from Union Gap and including the Ahtanum, Cowiche, Naches and Wenas 
valleys to its eastern boundary on the Yakima River, the second included the 
Umptanum and Kittitas regions and eastward to the Columbia River, while the 
third embraced the remaining sections ; i. e., the southern and southeastern 
parts. In 1882 also, the county was divided into twelve precincts with voting 
places as follows: The Horn at James Baxter's residence, Parker at the school- 
house, Yakima City at the courthouse, Cowiche at the schoolhouse, Ahtanum at 
the Marks schoolhouse, Wenas at the schoolhouse. West Kittitas at the Pack- 
wood schoolhouse. East Kittitas at Ellensburg, Peshastin at Lockwood and 
Cooper's, Simcoe at the agency. Alder Creek at the Beckner schoolhouse, Moxee 
at Charles Splawn's house. 

In the election of 1882 the inevitable question of county division came to 
the front. It is a little singular that any of the residents of so huge a county as 
Yakima before division could have expected to defer division for any length 
of time. But apparently the prospect of division is always distasteful to 
the older sections of a county and especially to the county seat. The struggle 
for the division of Yakima came in such a form as to make opposition at the 
county seat inevitable. A movement arose at Ellensburg and in the Kittitas 
Valley to move the county seat to that place or else to force a division of the 
county. In fact the election of 1880 had turned largely on that issue and the 
vote, 315, by which Taylor, a democrat, for the legislature, had defeated Shoudy, 
a republican, with 259, represented about the relative strength of the two sec- 
tions on the county question. Shoudy was the father of Ellensburg, and the 
fear that, if he were in the legislature, he would put through an act providing 
for removal of the county seat, caused a good many republicans in the Yakima 
City section to vote for the democratic candidate. Their fears were well 
founded, for in the election of 1882, Shoudy and Taylor ran for the legislature 
again on the same issue, and this time all the democrats in the Kittitas voted 
for Shoudy, with the result that he was elected, and by a curious coincidence 
he had precisely the same majority, fifty-six, which Taylor had in 1880. Shoudy 
put into immediate execution the purpose for which he was supposed to be 
running, and in 1883, Kittitas County was cut ofif from Yakima. We shall give 
further details of this event in the chapter on Kittitas County. The delegate 
chosen to Congress in 1882 was the republican, Thomas H. Brents, by a vote of 
478 to 301 for Thomas Burke, the democrat. The county officers chosen were 
J. W. Masters, David Murray, and S. R. Geddis, all republicans, for commis- 
sioners ; J. J. Taylor, sheriff and assessor; J. A. Splawn, treasurer; I. A. Navarre, 
probate judge; S. T. Munson, auditor; T. H. Look, surveyor; A. D. Eglin, sheep 
commissioner. All were republicans except Mr. Splawn. 


The election of 1884 was a strenuous one. That was the year of the com- 
pletion of the Northern Pacific Railroad to Yakima. The railroad was many 


years behind the time aUotted for earning the immense land grant extending 
from St. Paul to Taconia. Agitation for cancellation of that vast land subsidy 
had spread across the entire line of road. Furthermore there arose a burning 
question of local interest. That was the question of moving Yakima City to a 
new site a few miles north. This last question was not fully uncovered till the 
next year, but it was on the boards. These questions made a hot election in the 
fall of 1884. An anti-monopoly party sprung into being, led by one of the 
brightest men ever known in Yakima, J. M. Adams, editor of the Yakima 
Signal. The anti-monopoly republicans and democrats joined in the nomination 
of Charles Voorhees as candidate for Congress on a platform demanding can- 
cellation of the unearned portion of the railroad land grant. There was a vote 
of 41,858 for delegate in the Territory, but nearly a fourth were supposed to 
be cast by women, for the temporary Woman Suffrage law of the Territory had 
gone into effect. Voorhees received a majority in the Territory of 248 over 
Armstrong, the republican candidate. This result may be considered as in some 
degree marking the beginning of that great wave of anti-railroad legislation 
which was destined to sweep the country in subsequent years and materially 
affect our entire economic policies. The Territory was normally strongly repub- 
lican, and the election of a democrat was a plain notice to the republicans that 
they were catering too much to corporate interests. There are those at the 
present day who think that this popular movement against railroads has gone 
altogether too far. When, however, the student of history surveys the shame- 
less lobbying of the railway managers, the stupendous legislative favors and 
subsidies secured by them, and the yet vaster ones sought, he is constrained to 
decide that if the railroads have had a hard deal they brought it on themselves 
and deserved it all. 

In Yakima County Voorhees received 582 votes to 448 for Armstrong. 
J. B. Reavis of Yakima was chosen joint councilman, C. P. Cooke of Kittitas 
was chosen joint representative. Both were democrats. The local officers 
chosen were as follows : Hiram Dustin attorney, J. J. Tyler sheriff, S. T. 
Munson auditor, J. A. Splavvn treasurer, L. H. Brooks probate judge, W. F. 
Jones school superintendent, C. F. Reardon surveyor, J. M. Young, P. J. Flint 
and L. N. Rice, commissioners. John Cowan was appointed sheep commis- 
sioner, in the absence of an elected incumbent. 

The year 1886 saw the settlement of the bitterly contested question of the 
removal of the county seat from Yakima City to North Yakima. The legisla- 
ture of January of that year passed an act providing for the removal. This 
question of removal, involving so much strife, and having legal as well as busi- 
ness and political complications, belongs rather to the history of the city, and 
the topic will be considered in the chapter on city history. 

The election of 1886 resulted in the reelection of Charles Voorhees to Con- 
gress by an increased vote. His vote in Yakima county was 667 to 359 for C. 
M. Bradshaw, the republican candidate. C. P. Cooke, democrat, was chosen 
joint councilman over S. A. Wells, republican, by 633 to 386. G. W. Goodwin, 
democrat, was chosen representative by 590 to 405 for T. J. Clarke, but Mr. 
Clarke had the majority in the district. One of the most prominent of Yakima's 
citizens in law and politics began his official career in that election by choice to 


the position of attorney. This was H. J. Snively, a democrat. Another of the 
leaders of enterprise appears for the first time on the otiicial roll. This was 
Daniel Lesh, republican, chosen for sheriff. Yet another of the builders makes 
his entry here. This was W. F. Prosser for auditor. The other local officers 
chosen were: J. A. Splawn treasurer, S. C. Morford probate judge, Mrs. M. B. 
Curtis school superintendent, J. A. Leach surveyor, Thomas McAusland coro- 
ner, W. H. Lipstrap, J. A. Stephenson and F. K. Beard, commissioners. A 
special election held in June, 1886, to vote on the question of local prohibition 
of the liquor traffic resulted in a large affirmative vote in Yakima County. 


The election of 1888 was marked by something of a reaction in both na- 
tional and local affairs. The "protection" interests came back and elected a 
high tariff' group as a protest against the supposed free trade tendencies of 
Cleveland's first administration. As part of the same movement the strenuous 
anti-monopoly delegate to Congress from this state, Charles Voorhees, was 
defeated by John B. Allen, republican, by a vote in Yakima County of 461 to 
398. Mr. Allen was a resident of Yakima City for a snort time, being in the 
law firm of Whitson, Allen and Parker, whose office was in the First National 
Bank Building in North Yakima. Mr. Allen had removed to Walla Walla 
though still a member of the firm and was a resident of that city at the time 
of his first election as delegate. With that election he began his distinguished 
career which went on from that of delegate to senator. The joint councilman 
(joint with Klickitat County) was J. M. Snow, republican, chosen by 439 votes 
over Clay Fruit, democrat, with 408. Representative was I. N. Power, repub- 
lican, with 398 against Daniel Gaby, democrat, with 352, and John W. Brice, 
independent, with 158. There were prohibitionist and independent candidates 
throughout both state and county tickets. The local choices in 1888 were as 
follows: H. J. Snively attorney, D. W. Stair probate judge, D. E. Lesh sheriff', 
Matthew Bartholet auditor, G. W. Gary treasurer, James Hall surveyor, Hilda 
Engdahl school superintendent, Walter Griffith sheep commissioner, J. O. Clark 
coroner, John Cleman, H. D. Winchester and J. M. Brown commissioners. Of 
the above Messrs. Snively, Bartholet, Gary and Miss Engdahl were democrats, 
the others were republicans. 

And now comes the great year of 1889, the year of statehood. All the 
counties and communities of the Territory were agog with excitement over the 
great change of political status. After the persistent eft'orts of twenty years the 
slow-focusing attention of Congress had been fixed on this and several other 
Territories as ripe for mature political life. There had been sundry earlier 
attempts to induct Washington into the Union with some changes of boundary. 
One favorite idea, which has been agitated from time to time since, was to join 
northern Idaho to Washington, or to make a new state cf eastern Washington 
and northern Idaho, or still again to effect some new groupings of eastern Ore- 
gon, eastern Washington and different sections of Idaho. The "Spokesman- 
Review" of Spokane made quite an agitation in that line in about 1905 and 1906. 
But all such schemes have been quiescent for more than ;i decade. 


To turn back in time again we notice that in the congressional session of 
1877-78, Delegate Orange Jacobs presented a bill for introducing Washington 
to statehood with the three counties of northern Idaho added. But no action 
was taken by Congress. In spite of that the Territorial Legislature in Novem- 
ber, 1877, passed a law providing for an election to be held April 9, 1878, to 
choose delegates to a convention to meet at Walla Walla on June 11, 1878. Up 
to that time, as we have seen, repeated attempts to secure a vote for a conven- 
tion had failed in Walla Walla. The act of the legislature provided that the 
convention should consist of fifteen members from Washington with one, hav- 
ing no vote, from Idaho. 

In pursuance of the announcement the election was duly held, though with 
the scanty vote of 4,223, not half the number of voters in the Territory. The 
convention duly met at Science Hall in Walla Walla, and W. A. George of that 
city, one of the leading lawyers as well as one of the most unique characters of 
the Inland Empire, acted as temporary chairman. 

The permanent organization consisted of A. S. Abemethy of Cowlitz 
County as president, W. B. Daniels and William Clark as secretaries, and H. D. 
Cook as sergeant-at-arms. After a lengthy session the convention submitted a 
constitution which was voted upon at the next general election in November. 
Though a considerable majority was secured, exactly two-thirds, the total vote 
of 9,693 fell considerably short of the vote cast for delegate, and it seems to 
have been generally interpreted in Congress as evidence that the people of the 
Territory did not consider the time ripe for statehood. The whole matter was 
therefore indefinitely postponed. But the immense growth of the Territory in 
the decade of the eighties made it clear that the time for admission had arrived. 

The Enabling Act of Congress, approved by President Harrison on Feb- 
ruary 22, 1889, had the unique distinction of being the only one providing for 
the erection of four states at once. These were Washington, South Dakota, : 
North Dakota and Montana. As indicating the fundamental basis on which the 
four states rest, the reader will be interested in the following provisions of the 
enabling act : 

"And said conventions shall provide by ordinances irrevocable without the 
consent of the United States and the people of said states; 

"FIRST. That perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, 
and that no inhabitant of said states shall ever be molested in person or prop- 
erty on account of his or her mode of religious worship. 

"SECOND. That the people inhabiting said proposed states do agree and 
declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public 
lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said 
limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title 
thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be 
and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian 
lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the Congress 
of the United States ; that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States 
residing without the said state shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the 
lands belonging to residents thereof: that no taxes shall be imiwsed by the states 


on lands or property therein belonging to or which may hereafter be purchased 
by the United States or reserved for its use. But nothing herein, or in the ordi- 
nances herein provided for, shall preclude the said states from taxing as other 
lands are taxed, any lands owned or held by any Indian who has severed his 
tribal relations, and has obtained from the United States or from any person a 
title thereto by patent or other grant, save and except such lands as have been 
or may be granted to any Indian or Indians under any act of Congress contain- 
ing a provision exempting the lands thus granted from taxation ; but said ordi- 
nances shall provide that all such lands shall be exempt from taxation by said 
states so long and to such extent as such act of Congress may prescribe. 

"THIRD. That the debts and liabilities of said territories shall be assumed 
and paid by said states respectively. 

"FOURTH. That provision shall be made for the establishment and 
maintenance of systems of public schools, which shall be open to all the children 
of said states and free from sectarian control." 

In accordance with the enabling act, the constitutional convention of Wash- 
ington Territory met at Olympia, July 4, 1889. The constitution prepared dur- 
ing the fifty-day session was ratified at the polls on October 1, 1889. The mem- 
bers of the constitutional convention from the Yakima Valley were as follows: 
From Kittitas, J. A. Shoudy and Austin Mires of Ellensburg, republicans, and 
J. T. McDonald, democrat ; from Yakima, J. T. Eshelman, democrat, and W. F. 
Prosser, republican. 

The proclamation of President Harrison making known the formal en- 
trance of Washington into statehood possesses permanent mterest and we in- 
clude it here : 

"Whereas, the Congress of the United States did by an act approved on 
the twenty-second day of February, one thousand eight hundred and eighty- 
nine, provide that the inhabitants of the territory of Washington might, upon 
the conditions prescribed in said act, become the state of Washington ; 

"And whereas, it was provided by said act that delegates elected as therein 
provided, to a constitutional convention in the territory of Washington, should 
meet at the seat of government of said territory; and that, after they had met 
and organized they should declare on behalf of the people of Washington that 
they adopt the constitution of the United States : whereupon the said conven- 
tion should be authorized to form a state government for the proposed state of 
Washington ; 

"And whereas, it was provided by said act that the constitution so adopted 
should be republican in form and make no distinction in c'vil or political rights 
on account of race or color, except as to Indians not taxed, and not be repug- 
nant to the constitution of the United States and the principles of the declara- 
tion of independence ; and that the convention should by an ordinance irre- 
vocable without the consent of the United States and the people of said state 
make certain provisions prescribed in said act; 

"And whereas, it was provided by said act that the constitution thus formed 
for the people of Washington should, by an ordinance of the convention form- 
ing the same, be submitted to the people of Washington at an election to be 
held therein on the first Tuesday in October, eighteen hundred and eighty-nine. 


for ratification or rejection by the qualified voters of said proposed state; and 
that the returns of said election should be made to the secretary of said terri- 
tory, who, with the governor and chief justice thereof, cr any two of them, 
should canvass the same ; and if a majority of the legal votes cast should be for 
the constitution, the governor should certify the result to the president of the 
United States, together with a statement of the votes cast thereon, and upon 
separate articles or propositions, and a copy of said constitution, articles, propo- 
sitions and ordinances ; 

"And whereas, it has been certified to me by the governor of said territory 
that within the time prescribed by said act of Congress a constitution for the 
proposed state of Washington has been adopted and that the same has been 
ratified by a majority of the qualified voters of said proposed state in accord- 
ance with the conditions prescribed in said act; 

"And whereas, it is also certified to me by the said governor that at the 
same time the body of said constitution was submitted to a vote of the people 
two separate articles entitled 'Woman Suffrage' and 'Prohibition' were likewise 
submitted, which said separate articles did not receive a majority of the votes 
cast thereon or upon the constitution and were rejected ; also that at the same 
election the question of the location of a permanent seat of government was so 
submitted and that no place received a majority of all the votes cast upon said 
question ; 

"And whereas, a duly authenticated copy of said constitution and articles, 
as required by said act, has been received by me ; 

"Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, president of the United States of 
America, do, in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress afore- 
said, declare and proclaim the fact that the conditions imposed by Congress on 
the state of Washington to entitle that state to admission to the union have been 
ratified and accepted and that the admission of the said state into the union is 
now complete. 

"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal 
of the United States to be affixed. 

"Done at the city of Washington this eleventh (11th) day of November, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine, and of the 
independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fourteenth. 

[seal] Benj. Harrison. 

By the president : 

James G. Blaine, Secretary of State." 

The constitution provided that a special election be held on the first Tues- 
day of October, 1889, to vote upon the adoption of the constitution and also 
to choose the officers provided for under it. The legislative apportionment for 
that election assigned one representative to Yakima County and one senator to 
the ninth district composed of Yakima and Douglas counties. Kittitas County 
had two representatives and one senator. It will surprise some of our readers 
to know that Kittitas County had a larger population than Yakima. The census 
of 1890 gives 4,429 in Yakima County, and 8,777 in Kittitas. Some territory 
belonged to Kittitas in 1889 and 1890 which was in Okanogan County in 1892, 


in which year Kittitas shows a decrease. Still later the Wenatchee became part 
of Chelan County. However, Ellensburgh had a larger population than North 
Yakima in 1889. 

In the special election of 1889 Yakima County cast its first vote for a con- 
gressman, 581 for John L. Wilson to 494 for Thomas Gritfits. The vote for the 
first governor was 537 for E. P. Ferry, republican, to 519 for Eugene Semple, 
democrat. The other state offices show about the same results, republicans re- 
ceiving some majority in each case, with the exception tliat H. J. Snively, one 
of Yakima's prominent and favorite sons, had a vote for attorney-general of 
547 to 518 for W. C. Jones, a liberal republican. Mr. Jones ("Wheat Chart" 
Jones) was elected in the state. The first representative to the State Legisla- 
ture was John Cleman, republican, chosen over David Longmire, democrat, by 
544 to 523. The joint senator was J. M. Snow, republican, 538, to 523 for R. 
M. Starr, democrat. C. B. Graves, republican, was chosen superior judge, by 
620 to 425 for Hiram Dustin. The constitution provided for a clerk of the 
court, and Dudley Eshelman was chosen to this position by 562 to 491 for Rich- 
ard Strobach, a republican victory. As will be seen the republicans carried 
everything with the exception of the vote for attorney-general. The result was 
not, however, by decided majorities, and it denoted a well-balanced political 
situation. The constitution provided a special vote on three important matters. 
One was the location of the capital, another was a woman suffrage article and 
a third was a prohibition article. In view of later results the vote on woman 
sufifrage and prohibition furnish food for reflection. The vote in the state for 
the adoption of the constitution was 38,394 to 11,895. The woman suffrage 
article was defeated 34,342 to 16,855. The prohibition article was defeated 
31,881 to 19,241. The three candidates for state capital were North Yakima, 
Ellensburgh, and Olympia. A strong sentiment had developed east-of-the- 
mountains, and even in places on the west side, that the capital should be moved. 
If the opposition to Olympia had centered on one of the two Yakima points the 
change would have carried. But Ellensburgh and North Yakima defeated each 
other. North Yakima received 14,707 votes ; Ellensburgh, 12,833 ; and Olympia, 
25,488. Since Olympia failed of a majority of all votes the question remained 
open for another election. 

The good state of Washington was now in official existence. The material 
growth during the decade of the eighties had been prodigious. A few figures 
will illustrate the change. In 1880 the state had 75,116 people; in 1890, 349,390. 
In 1880 Walla Walla was the largest town in the Territor\-, with 3,588. Seattle 
had 3,533; Spokane, 350; Tacoma, 1,098; North Yakima, 0. In 1890, Seattle 
had 42,837; Tacoma, 36,006; Spokane, 19,922; Walla Walla, 4,709: Ellensburgh, 
2,768; North Yakima, 1,535. The assessed valuation in 1880 was $134,342,162. 
In 1890 the valuation was $314,247,419. 

With so great a material development it naturally followed that ambitious 
politicians, grafters and lobbyists rushed in alongside of the genuinely enter- 
prising, honest and patriotic. The new state therefore became the battle ground 
of all sorts of factions, "pros and antis" of all orders. Moreover, the "great 
depression," the reaction from the overly active speculation of the previous 
decade, was at hand. In both national and state matters the harvest of wild oats. 


sowed by the lobbies, syndicates, trusts and monopolies sprouting out of the 
railroad complications of an era of speculation, was ready for cutting, and it 
was plain to discerning men that the wheat was going to have a hard time among 
the noxious growths. The elections of 1892, 1894 and 1896 showed the tremen- 
dous growth of populism with its allied agencies as the proper reaction against 
the era of graft. But the election of 1890 led by natural degrees to it. 

That election in Yakima County resulted in a small majority for John L. 
Wilson for Congress. The legislature chosen in 1889 had provided a new 
apportionment by which Yakima and Klickitat counties constituted the twelfth 
district, entitled to. one senator, and Yakima County was to be the nineteenth 
representative district, entitled to one representative. In pursuance of this ap- 
portionment J- T. Eshelman, democrat, became senator by 574 votes to 468 for 
D. \V. Pierce, his republican opponent. H. J. Snively, democrat, was chosen 
representative by 544 votes to 515 for B. F. Young, republican. The local 
ofTficers chosen were these : Myron H. Ellis for auditor, D. W. Simmons sheriff, 
F. D. Eshelman clerk, G. O. Nevin treasurer, E. A. Sh.nnnafelt assessor, J. A. 
Rockford attorney, J. G. Lawrence superintendent of schools, W. H. Redman 
surveyor. Jay Chambers coroner, F. Kandle, John Reed, and Joseph Stephenson, 
commissioners, and S. J. Cameron sheep commissioner. Every one of the local 
ofificers above was a republican except Mr. Stephenson, commissioner for the 
third district. The vote on the state capital was for North Yakima 949; for 
Olympia, 30; for Ellensburgh, 14. The result in the state for the capital was 
37,413 for Olympia, 7,722 for Ellensburgh and 6,276 for North Yakima. The 
"Oyster center" became therefore permanently the capital of Washington. 

As we pass on to the election of 1892, the first in which Washington partic- 
ipated in a presidential election, we find the great Populist movement gathering 
its forces from varied sources, all animated by a common sense of hostility to 
the group of policies which seemed to center in the "money interests" and cor- 
poration lobbies. As might be expected from the type of people and occupa- 
tions — almost entirely pastoral and agricultural — which made up the population 
of Yakima, that county was a powerful center of independent and populistic 
thought. The Knights of Labor took the initiative in the direction of a union 
of forces for a new party by a meeting in North Yakima on July 17, 1891. Rep- 
resentatives of the Farmers' Alliance, Good Templars, and Trades Unions 
joined in the movement. Meanwhile a formal organization of the "people's 
party" had been effected on July 13. The two organizations acted substantially 
together in the next three elections, and in 1894 and 1896, the general body of 
democrats, as well as the very active wing of republicans known as Silver repub- 
licans, threw their energies into the same channel. The result was that the 
republicans in Yakima, republican as it usually had been, though not by great 
majorities, were entirely overwhelmed, and in this county, as in the state, the 
"three-ring circus" of populists, democrats and silver republicans, carried every- 
thing in sight. 

Before proceeding to a view of the election returns of Yakima County from 
1892 to the date of this work, there is one event in state politics so interesting in 
its constitutional bearings as to make it worthy of special note. Moreover, it 
brings up to mind the name o fa man whose career began in Yakima, and who 


became known and honored throughout the state. We refer to the senatorial 
situation and to John B. Allen. 


In the first election of United States senator, November, 1889, John B. 
Allen of Walla Walla and Watson C. Squire were chosen, the former drawing 
the four-year-term which entitled him to the place until March 4, 1893. The 
senatorial election of 1893 was one of the most extraordinary in the history of 
such elections and involved a number of distinguished men in this section of the 
state. The fundamental struggle was between the adherents, of John B. Allen 
of Walla Walla and George Turner of Spokane, both republicans. It became a 
factional fight of the bitterest type. One hundred and one ballots were taken 
unavailingly and then the legislature adjourned sine die, with no choice. 

Upon the failure of the legislature to elect. Governor McGraw appointed 
John B. Allen to fill the vacancy. Proceeding to Washington Mr. Allen pre- 
sented his case to the senate, but in that case, as in others, that body decided, 
and very properly, that the state must go unrepresented until the legislature 
could perform its constitutional duties. It is safe to say that that experience 
with similar ones in other states, was one of the great influences in causing the 
amendment to the constitution providing for direct electiori by the people. The 
spectacle of the legislature neglecting its law-making functions to wrangle over 
the opposing ambitions of senatorial aspirants, fatally impaired the confidence 
of the people in the wisdom of the old method of choice. That amendment may 
be regarded also as one of the striking manifestations of American political 
evolution, in which there has come a recognition of the danger of legislative 
bodies, chosen by popular suflfrage, becoming the tools of personal or corporate 
interests instead of the servants of the people who chose them, and by which, 
in consequence, the evils of popular government are being remedied by being 
made more popular. 


And now we reach the interesting election of 1892, the first in which Wash- 
ington voted for president. 

It is valuable to note here the precincts as they existed in the year 1892. 
They are as follows: Kennewick, Kiona, Alder Creek, Red Rock, Lone Tree, 
Parker, Moxee, Yakima City, Ahtanum, Tampico, Wide Hollow, North 
Yakima No. 1, North Yakima No. 2, Cowiche, Naches, Wenas, Simcoe. 

In 1892, beginning with President, we find the foUov/ing results: 


Republican Democrat Populist Prohibitionist 

Geo. V. Calhoun John M. Stearns Wm. Lee, Sr. H. X. Belt 

John S. McMillan Louis H. Platter Jas. Bassett J.W.Peter 

Ignatius A. Navarre Franklyn D. Arnold T. T. Barrows D. R. Bigelow 

Chester F. White Louis K. Church Wm. J. Caldwell A. McReady 



Republican Democrat Populist Prohibitionist 

W. M. Doolittle James A. Mundy J. C. VanPatten C. E. Newberry 
John L. Wilson Thos. Carroll M. F. Knox A. C. Dickinson 

The highest vote for presidential elector of the republicans was 630, of 
the democrats 502, of the populists 375, and of the prohibitionists 14, giving 
the republicans a majority over the democrats, although much less than a ma- 
jority over all. Of the congressional candidates, John L. Wilson with 602 votes 
and W. M. Doolittle with 601, were elected over their democratic opponents, 
of whom Mr. Carroll received 539 and Mr. Mundy 518, while the populists 
received 368 and 361 respectively, with the prohibitionists in the rear with a 
number of 14 and 12 respectively. 

Of the state candidates we find the following reports: For supreme judge 
the republican candidates were Thomas J. Anders and Elmon Scott, of the 
democrats Eugene K. Hanna and William H. Brinker, and of the populists 
Frank T. Reid and E. W. Gardener. Their votes in the order given were as 
follows: 619, 593, 494, 472, 349, 341. From the above it appears that the re- 
publicans were also successful in their candidates in the election for Supreme 

The nominees for governor were the following: John H. McGraw, re- 
publican, Henry J. Snively democrat, C. W. Young populist, Roger S. Greene 
prohibitionist. It is a tribute to Mr. Snively as a citizen of Yakima County 
that he received a majority of 100 over Mr. McGraw in the county, although 
Mr. McGraw was elected in the state, the votes in Yakima County being respec- 
tively 604 and 504. 

The republican candidate for lieutenant-governor, Frank H. Luce, was 
chosen in the county by a vote of 571 to 513 for his democratic competitor. 
The same general result obtained in the other state offices. For secretary of 
state James H. Price, republican, had 605 to 489 for his democratic opponent. 
The state treasurer, Ozro A. Bowen, had 605 votes to 485 for the democratic 
candidate. For state auditor Laban R. Grimes had 606 votes to 482 for the 
democratic candidate. For attorney-general, one of the brilliant political fig- 
ures of the state of Washington, "Wheat Chart" Jones, who afterwards became 
one of the leaders of the silver republicans, was chosen by a vote of 563 to 524 
for his democratic competitor. For superintendent of public instruction Charles 
W. Bean, republican, received 592 to 495 for his democratic opponent. For 
commissioner of public lands, William T. Forrest with 595 votes carried off the 
honors from his democratic opponent by over 100 votes, and by almost the 
same vote, Oliver C. White was chosen state printer. 

It is interesting to note that in this election of 1892 the populists had an 
average vote of about 360, while the prohibitionists had a trifling vote of 10 
to 18. This fact is the more interesting in view of the subsequent disappearance 
of the populist party and the state-wide triumph at a later date of the prohibi- 
tionists in the cause which they advocated. 


Of the Yakima County officials chosen in the election of 1892, the repub- 
licans were entirely in the lead. The average vote is well indicated from the 
votes given for the judge of the Superior Court, as follows: Republican, Carroll 
B. Graves, 683; Frank H. Rudkin, democrat, 448; Lawrence A. Vincent, popu- 
ist, 327, making a total vote of 1,458. In this election A. B. Weed became rep- 
resentative from the nineteenth district, J. A. Rochford county attorney, J. M. 
Brown county clerk, Myron H. Ellis county auditor, G. O. Nevin county treas- 
urer, E. W. Simmons sheriff, O. V. Carpenter assessor, J. G. Lawrence super- 
intendent of schools, William H. Redman surveyor, Richard Sisk sheep com- 
missioner, for county commissioners, Frank J. Kandle, John H. Hubbard and 
W. A. Kelso, and for county coroner J. O. Clark. 

For the prohibition amendment there were 234, and 745 against, an inter- 
esting item in view of the fact that Yakima County became later the banner 
prohibitionist county. 

We have given in the preceding election the figures with more fullness than 
we shall give in the subsequent ones on account of its being the first state elec- 
tion on record and in order to give a proper view of the general line-up of the 
parties at that time. 

In the election of 1894, the republican candidates for Congress, William 
A. Doolittle, with 860 votes, a lead of 11 over his running mate, Samuel C. 
Hyde, had good majorities, while the populist candidates surpassed the demo- 
crats by heavy majorities. R. O. Dunbar and M. J. Gordon, republicans, had a 
majority of over 300 over their populist competitors and ever 400 over the dem- 
ocrats, for Supreme Court judges. 

Of the county candidates for this election we find Daniel E. Lesh, repub- 
lican, leading the democratic candidate George S. Taylor by a majority of 5, 
having 918 votes. As indicating the growth of the county it is interesting to 
observe that the vote for joint senator totals 1,83L R. B. Milroy was chosen 
representative for the legislature by a majority of 92 over his democratic com- 
petitor and of 99 over the populist candidate. In this election the following 
were chosen to the regular county offices: Sheriff', A. L. Dilley ; auditor. F. C. 
Hall; treasurer, Matthew Bartholet ; clerk, J. M. Brown; attorney, Glen G. 
Dudley; assessor, O. V. Carpenter; school superintendent, J. F. Brown; sheep 
commissioner, R. Sisk; coroner, E. E. Heg; commissioners, Joseph Stephenson 
and Nelson Rich. 

Of the above all were republicans except Mr. Bartholet as treasurer and 
Mr. Stephenson as commissioner. 

With 1896 we come to one of the most exciting and significant elections 
in the history of the nation. This was the year of the "Cross of Gold" presi- 
dential election, and the populist movement swept Yakima County along with 
most of the Western portion of the United States. Of the presidential electors 
for the state, the highest populist vote in the county was 1,219, the highest re- 
publican was 948, while the highest democratic. Judge Burke, one of the most 
prominent of all citizens of the state, received only the pitiful little vote of 47. 
The successful congressional candidates both in the state and in the county, 
were those two spectacular figures of Washington politics, James Hamilton 


Lewis and William C. Jones. The former had a vote of 1,236 and the latter 
1,226 in the county, to 925 and 928 for their republican opponents, while the 
democratic vote was hardly large enough to count. The county gave a vote of 
1,246 to that great statesmen of the populist party, John R. Rogers, for gover- 
nor. The other state offices present about the same general results. 

The county offices for the election of 1896 show a similar populist triumph. 
The democratic party practically disappeared and the combination defeated the 
republican candidates by majorities averaging about 300. The successful can- 
didates were as follows : Sheriff, A. J. Shaw ; clerk, J. R. Coe ; auditor, A. B. 
Flint; treasurer, Matthew Bartholet ; attorney. Vestal Snyder; assessor, T. A. 
Lasswell ; superintendent, F. H. Plumb ; surveyor, H. F. Marble ; coroner, 
Lewis Ker; sheep commissioner, R. Mans; commissioners, Charles Carpenter 
and W. B. Mathews. 

The election of 1898 shows a return to the more normal political conditions, 
since the republican party began to come back again and we find one of the 
distinguished citizens of Yakima County in that year entering upon his politi- 
cal career, which has continued to the present date. We refer to Wesley L. 
Jones. With him was chosen to Congress, Francis W. Cushman, each having 
a decided though not large lead over the democratic or the populist candidates, 
Lewis and Jones. 

In this election of 1898 T. J. Anders and Mark A. Fullerton, republicans, 
were chosen by strong majorities over the populist candidates. For state sen- 
ator, George H. Baker, republican, was chosen, and for representative, Ira P. 
Englehart, republican, was the choice. 

The county officers were as follows : H. L. Tucker for sheriff, George Allen 
for clerk. E. E. Kelso for auditor, W. B. Dudley for treasurer, John J. Rudkin 
for prosecuting attorney: Robert Scott for assessor, F. 11. Plumb for superin- 
tendent, Sydney Arnold for surveyor, David Rosser for coroner, Frank Horsley 
and A. D. Eglin for commissioners. All of the above were republicans with 
the single exception of Mr. Plumb for superintendent. 

The election of 1900 indicates a still larger reaction from populism back 
to the normal republicanism of the state of Washington. For presidential elec- 
tors. Samuel G. Cosgrove, republican, the highest on the list, received 1,507 to 
1,066 for N. G. Blalock, highest on the democratic list. 

For congressman Francis W. Cushman and Wesley L. Jones again received 
large majorities. The same was true of the candidates for the Supreme Court 
and the other state officers. Henry McBride for governor received 1,436 votes 
to 1,100 for William E. McCroskey, the democratic candidate. The total vote 
for governor, it is interesting to notice, was 2,659. The other state officers 
showed a universal republican triumph. For state representative from the 
nineteenth district, Nelson Rich was the choice. For Superior judge, Frank 
H. Rudkin was reelected. County officers were chosen as follows: Auditor, 
E. E. Kelso; .sherifif, H. L. Tucker; clerk, G. L. Allen; treasurer, W. B. Dudley; 
attorney, W. P. Guthrie; assessor, Robert Scott; superintendent, S. A. Dickey; 
surveyor, W. F. Melloy ; coroner, E. P. Milliken ; commissioners. F. J. Kandle 
W. L. Dimmick. 


With the year 1902 we come to a new order of things by having three mem- 
bers of Congress and we find the republicans still in the ascendant. Yakima 
County cast an overwhelming vote for Wesley L. Jones, Francis W. Cushman 
and William E. Humphrey. The judge of the Supreme Court receiving the 
majority in this election was Hiram E. Hadley, with a vote of 1,705 to 1,010 for 
his democratic opponent. For state senator from Yakima the democrats scored 
one of their very few victories by the election of one of the most interesting 
and conspicuous citizens of the county, A. J. Splawn. For representatives, 
Robert Drum, republican, and F. A. Hedger, democrat, were chosen. Of the 
local officers we find the following results : For sheriff, R. A. Grant ; clerk, J. 
W. Day; auditor, W. B. Newcomb; treasurer, E. G. Beck; attorney, W. P. 
Guthrie ; assessor, Harry Coonse ; superintendent of schools, S. A. Dickey ; 
surveyor, W. F. Melloy ; coroner, E. P. Milliken ; commissioners, F. J. Kandle 
and W. B. Mathews. 

We come now to the election of 1904. With this year we come again to a 
presidential election with all of its nation-wide excitement. We find the number 
of votes cast in Yakima County to have greatly increased, the number in this 
year being 5,054. The republican candidates for presidential electors had an 
enormous majority, being 3,484 for the highest republican nominee, to 930 for 
the highest democratic, 36 for the highest socialist labor candidate, 360. for the 
highest socialist, 133 for the highest prohibitionist and 13 for the highest pop- 
ulist. The three existing Congressmen, Wesley L. Jones, William E. Humphrey 
and Francis L. Cushman, were reelected by immense majoiities over their dem- 
ocratic opponents, Mr. Jones having 3,297 to 1,128 for his democratic competi- 
tor. Frank H. Rudkin and Mark A. Fullerton had similar majorities for Su- 
preme judge. Albert E. Mead for governor received a majority of 637 over 
George Turner, democratic candidate. The other state offices show similar re- 
sults. The legislative ticket shows the election of Walter J. Reed, republican, 
as senator, over A. J. Splawn, democrat, by a majority of 417. For representa- 
tives William H. Hare and Lee A. Johnson were chosen by large majorities. 
Of the county offices we find the following results: For sheriff, Ronald A. 
Grant, democrat, a remarkable distinction for that election. Of the other offices 
we find for clerk, Jasper W. Day, for auditor William B. Newcomb, for treas- 
urer Lee Tittle, for prosecuting attorney Ira M. Krutz, for assessor Harry 
Coonse, for school superintendent Jacob A. Jacobson, for surveyor W. F. ]\Ielloy, 
for coroner David Rosser, for commissioners Daniel Sinclair, Daniel McDonald, 
and Carl A. Jensen, all republicans. 

The election of 1906 is signalized in national afi^airs by the reelection of the 
same three congressmen, William E. Humphrey, Wesle\- L. Jones and Francis 
L. Cushman. The reaction in National afifairs that set in with 1898 still con- 
tinued with unabated energy, and even the shrewdest politicians did not seem 
to realize that another great reaction was in process of incubation, which was 
destined to show its effect nationally in a half dozen years. Yakima County 
gave the customary republican majorities for all state officers in the election of 
1906. For the state representatives, Samuel J. Cameron and Lee A. Johnson, 
both republicans, appear on the list of successful candidates. The local candi- 


dates chosen were these : For sheriff, John M. Edwards, a democrat ; for clerk, 
R. K. Nichols; for auditor, Wilbur Crocker; for treasurer, Lee Tittle; for 
prosecuting attorney, Henry H. Wende, democrat; for assessor, J. W. Sindall; 
superintendent of schools, J. A. Jacobson; surveyor, W. J. Mclntyre ; for coro- 
ner, P. Frank; for commissioners, D. A. McDonald, William LeMay. 

The year 1908 brings us to another presidential election. Of the five re- 
publican candidates for presidential electors the highest is 2,998, while the 
highest of the democrats is 1,645. The lesser parties have an inconspicuous 
number of votes. For congressmen we come to a new and, at the present time, 
one of the most conspicuous politicians of the United States, as republican can- 
didate. This is Miles Poindexter of Spokane. He received a vote of 4,017 in 
Yakima County to 1,546 for William Goodyear, the democratic candidate. 
Before this time the Supreme Court judgeship had been made non-partisan and 
the three nominated candidates. Judges Crow, Root and Chadwick, received the 
entire vote of the county. For governor one of the best citizens of the state, 
whose career was so unfortunately terminated by an untimely death, Samuel G. 
Cosgrove, received a vote of 4,032 to 1,615 for John Pattison, the democratic 
candidate. The other state offices showed a similar republican majority. The 
legislative candidates show the election of Samuel J. Cameron as senator from 
the fifteenth district and William H. Cline and Leo O. Meigs as representatives 
from the twentieth district. E. B. Preble was chosen Superior judge. For the 
local officers we find for sheriff, Joe H. Lancaster; for clerk, A. W. Barr; for 
auditor, Wilbur Crocker ; for treasurer, Frank Bond ; for prosecuting attorney, 
J. Lenox Ward; for assessor, John W. Sindall; for superintendent, F. S. Busch; 
for engineer, William J. Alclntyre; for coroner, David Rosser; for commis- 
sioners, W. F. Melloy and William LeMay, all republicans. 

The election of 1910. In this election we find Yakima County still true to 
her republican predilections. William L. LaFollette was chosen congressman 
by 3,535 to 946 for Harry D. Merrit, the democrat. For the legislative ticket 
we find Frank J. Allen for state senator and Walker Moren and C. W. Cham- 
berlain for representatives. For the local officers we find for sheriff, J. W. 
Day; for county clerk, A. W. Barr; auditor, W. B. Newcomb ; for treasurer, 
Frank Bond; attorney, J. Lenox Ward; assessor, B. F. r.lcCurdy ; superintend- 
ent, F. S. Busch; for engineer, H. F. Marble; for coroner, Fred Shaw; for 
commissioners, Jim Lancaster and Martin Olsen. By act of legislature in 1911, 
two Superior judges were assigned to Yakima County. E. B. Preble was chosen 
to one judgeship and Thomas M. Grady was appointed to the other by Governor 
M. E. Hay. 

With the year 1912 we find ourselves again in a presidential election and 
one of the most momentous of the entire series. In this election Washington 
was entitled to five electors. Contrary to the result in the nation, Yakima 
County cast her vote for the republican nominees, but by a very scanty majority 
compared with the previous majorities, being 3,304 to 3,209. One of the most 
important votes of this election was that on the adoption of the Initiative and 
Recall amendments to the constitution. These had a majority of nearly 3,000 
out of a vote of something over 6,000. The representatives to Congress at large 


chosen in the county (though not in the state) were J. E. Frost and Henry B. 
Dewey, both repubhcans, while W. L. LaFoHette was reelected from the third 
district by a majority of nearly 2,000. M. E. Hay received a vote of 4,569 for 
governor, but was defeated in the state at large by the present governor, Ernest 
Lister. The successful candidate for state senator from the fifteenth district 
was Henry H. Wende, the democratic candidate. The successful candidates 
for state representative were C. E. Lum and Walker Moren, both republicans. 
Of the local candidates we find J. Metzger, a democrat, chosen sheriff; for 
clerk, C. Roy King; for auditor, W. B. Newcomb; for treasurer, James F. 
Wood ; for attorney, Harold B. Gilbert ; for assessor, B. F. ^NlcCurdy ; for 
superintendent of schools, Rodney Ackley ; for engineer, H. F. Marble ; for 
coroner, Fred E. Shaw ; for commissioners, James Stewart and William Stahl- 
hut. E. B. Preble and T. M. Grady were elected to fill the Superior judgeships 
for the full four-year term. 

The election of 1914 presents some especially interesting features. Per- 
haps the most so of all was the vote of the state upon the prohibition amend- 
ment. Yakima County gave an overwhelming vote in favor of this amendment, 
being 10,192 to 5,086. There were a number of other interesting amendments 
proposed but the vote in case of all of them was adverse, showing a generally 
conservative disposition on the part of the voters of the county. In this elec- 
tion, William L. LaFollette was reelected representative to Congress by an in- 
creased majority over Roscoe M. Drumheller, the demccratic candidate. For 
representatives to the State Legislature from the twentieth district., W. P. 
Sawyer and C. E. Lum were chosen. The successful local candidates were as 
follows: For sherifif, W. P. IMurphy ; for clerk, C. Roy King; for auditor, 
Charles E. Barrett; for treasurer, James F. Wood; for prosecuting attorney, 
Harold B. Gilbert; for assessor, W. D. McNair; for superintendent, Rodney 
Ackley; for engineer, O. E. Brashears ; for commissioners, Jim Lancaster and 
W^illiam Stahlhut, all republicans. 


The election of 1916 was signalized by a number of eiiforts on the part of 
the liquor interests to evade the results of the prohibition amendment. This 
was done by several initiative and referendum measures. Yakima County 
became the banner county of the state in turning down these attempts to 
defeat the pre-recorded wish of the people. One of these measures showed a 
vote against of 7,973 to 1.350 for. From the presidential standpoint, this was 
one of the most exciting elections ever held and the state of Washington, with 
other western states, seems to have determined the balance of the results. 
Yakima County, however, was still true to her first love and cast a republican 
majority, although a scanty one, being 7,188 republican to 6,136 democratic. In 
this election the senator, chosen by popular vote, was Miles Poindexter by a 
vote of 8,560 to 4,485 for George Turner, the democratic candidate. William 
LaFollette received the majority vote for congressman. Ernest Lister received 
a vote in the county for governor of 7,625 to 6,661 for Henry McBride, the re- 
publican candidate, but aside from the governor, almost all the republican state 


candidates were elected. For state senator D. V. Morthland was chosen by a 
large majority. For the state representatives, William P. Sawyer was reelected 
and Ina Phillips Williams was chosen. Of the local candidates we find the 
following: W. P. Murphy for sheriff, Frank D. Clemmer for clerk, Charles E. 
Barrett for auditor, J. F. Peters for treasurer, O. R. Shuman for prosecuting 
attorney, W. D. McNair for assessor, Anna R. Nichols for superintendent, O. 

E. Brashears for engineer. Dr. H. R. Wells for coroner, A. Lundstrum, W. L. 
Dimmick and A. E. Turner for commissioners. In this election George B. 
Holden and H. M. Taylor were chosen Superior judges. 

The election of 1918 was marked by the rather singular feature of calling 
out but forty-two per cent, of the estimated registration of 14,400, as stated by 
Auditor C. E. Barrett. The result in Yakima, as in most parts of the country, 
was a republican triumph. 

The following are the returns: 

For convention 2,169, against convention 1,297; for referendum 3,256, 
against referendum 1008; Congress — ^John W. Summers 3,561, W. E. 
McCroskey 2,277, Walter Price 119; legislature— W. P. Sawyer 4,285, H. C. 
Lucas 4,201, Lucy M. Cooper 264; sheriff — Samuel Hutchinson 4,116, Ward 
W. King 1,931; clerk — Frank Clemmer 4,574 ; auditor — Ruth Hutchinson 4,893; 
treasurer — J. F. Peters 4,732 ; prosecutor — O. R. Schumann 3,036, Guy O. 
Shumate 2,966 ; assessor — L. D. Luce 4,421 ; school superintendent — Anna R. 
Nichols 4,890; engineer— W. C. Marion 4,548; coroner— H. R. Wells 4,593; 
commissioner, 2d — W. L. Dimmick 4,541 ; commissioner, 3d — A. C. Turner 
4,522; judge, six years— John R. Mitchell 3,130, Wallace Mount 2,527, John 

F. Main 2,470, W. H. Pemberton 1,359, W. O. Chapman 1,327, Edgar G. Mills 
1,190; judge, four years — Kenneth Mackintosh 2,636; judge, two years — War- 
ren W. Tollman 2,307. 

It may be noted that the referendum measure was the question of the 
"bone-dry" prohibition law, passed by the legislature of 1917. In the state, as 
in Yakima County, the law was overwhelmingly sustained. 

Yakima has had its full share in the politics of the state and nation. The 
most conspicuous contribution to national politics has been Senator Wesley L. 
Jones. Coming to Yakima from Illinois in 1889, Mr. Jones devoted his first 
years to the upbuilding of a large law practice, and in 1898 was chosen repre- 
sentative to Congress. Four successive elections as representative followed. In 
1908 he was designated by popular vote and therefore chosen to the Senate. In 
the election of 1914, he was reelected to the Senate by popular vote. 

One of the very interesting historical points in the political historj' of 
Senator Jones was his famous encounter on the platform at Walla Walla with 
"Dude" Lewis. This occurred on October 22, 1898, and was practically Mr. 
Jones' introduction to the political world. He was relatively unknown at that 
time, while Congressman Lewis was the most noted as well as most picturesque 
figure in Washington politics. Moreover, Mr. Lewis, in spite of his "pink 
whiskers" and incredible number of flaming neckties and vari-colored pairs of 
trousers, was a man of great ability and had a reputation as a brilliant orator 
and effective debater which made him hard to beat in any political arena. While 



opinions differed as to the honors in this famous contest, the wit, good nature 
and argumentative skill of Mr. Jones against his wary and skillful opponent 
were such as to carry him at a jump to the front rank of political orators and 
to give him a standing which played no small part in his election two weeks 

Yakima County, like most irrigated regions, with its predominance of small 
land holdings and intensive farming, and generally high-class rural life, and the 
accompaniment of good schools, churches and general diffusion of intelligence, 
has always been progressive on moral and reformatory measures. We are not 
surprised, therefore, that in spite of some strong centering of predatory inter- 
ests in the city, the power of the outlying precincts was so great as to secure 
an overwhelming support for the three great sets of amendments to the con- 
stitution; woman suffrage in 1908, initiative, recall, direct primary and refer- 
endum in 1912, and prohibition in 1914. While professional politicians have 
sneered and railed at these measures, there can be no nutstion that from the 
viewpoint of the genuine permanent interests of the people, these and their 
correlative measures outweigh infinitely the little squirming jobs hatched out by 
peanut politicians in legislative lobbies and in the back rooms of gambling dens, 
and which necessarily make up the staple of politics unles.^ the real producers 
of a country assume their rightful responsibilities and take possession of their 
rightful heritage, and, in short, run their own government. Communities such 
as are generated by the conditions of life in Yakima, and indeed mainly in the 
state of Washington and the Northwest, are sure to do this in the long run. 
They are, therefore, the ver>' bedrock of those principles which will "make the 
world safe for democracy." 

From the standpoint of the historian, the record of ilie territorial officers 
from 1853 to 1889 possesses permanent value, and we accordingly incorporate 
it at this point. 


Isaac I. Stevens— 1853 to 1857. Edward S. Salomon— 1870 to 1872. 
J. Patton Anderson— 1857. Did not James F. Legate— 1872. Did not 

qualify. qualify. 

Fayette McMullen— 1857 to 1859. Elisha P. Ferry-— 1872 to 1880. 

R. D. Gholson— 1859 to 1861. W. A. Newell— 1880 to 1884. 

W. H. Wallace— 1861. Watson C. Squire— 1884 to 1887. 

William Pickering— 1862 to 1866. Eugene Semple— 1887 to 1889. 

George E. Cole— 1866 to 1867. Miles C. Moore (seven months)— 1889 
Marshal F. Moore — 1867 to 1869. to statehood. 

Alvin Flanders— 1869 to 1870. 


1853 — Columbia Lancaster, dem. 1861 — William H. Wallace, whig 

1854— William H. Wallace, whig 1863— George E. Cole, dem. 

1855 — J. Patton Anderson, dem. 1865 — A. A. Denny, rep. 

1857 — Isaac I. Stevens, dem. 1867 — Alvin Flanders, rep. 



1869— S. Garfielde, rep. 1880— Thomas PI. Brents, rep. 

1870— S. Garfielde, rep. 1882— Thomas H. Brents, rep. 

1872— O. B. McFadden, dem. 1884— C. S. Voorhees, dem. 

1874 — Orange Jacobs, rep. 1886 — C. S. Voorhees, dem. 

1878— Thomas B. Brents, rep. 1888— John B. Allen, rep. 


James Tilton— 1853 to 1860. L. B. Beach— 187:.. 

A. G. Henry— 1864 to 1866. Wilham McMicken— 1873 to 1886. 
Sehicius Garfielde— 1866 to 1869. J. C. Breckinridge— 1886 to 1889. 
E. P. Ferry— 1870 to 1872. T. H. Cavanaugh— 1889 to statehood. 


J. S. Clendenin— 1853 to 1856. J. J. McGilvra— 1861 to 1867. 

H. R. Crosbie— 1856 to . Leander Holmes— 1867 to 1873. 

J. S. Smith— 1857 to 1859. Samuel C. Wingard— 1873 to 1874. 

B. P. Anderson— 1859 to 1861. John B. Allen— 1875 to 1886. 
William H. White— 1886 to statehood. 


J. P. Anderson— 1853 to 1855. Philip Ritz— 1869 to . 

G. W. Corliss— 1856 to 1858. E. S. Kearney— 1870 to 1874. 

Charles E. Weed— 1859 to 1862. Charles Hopkins— 1875 to 1886. 

William Huntington— 1863 to 1868. T. J. Hamilton— 1886 to statehood. 


Charles H. Mason— 1853 to 1857. James Scott— 1870 to 1872. 

H. M. McGill— 1857 to 1860. J. C. Clements— 1872 to . 

L. J. S. Turney— 1861 to 1862. Henry G. Struve— 1873 to 1879. 

Elwood Evans— 1862 to 1867. N. H. Owings— 1879 to 1889. 

E. L. Smith— 1867 to 1870. O. C. White— 1889 to statehood. 


William Cock— 1854 to 1861. J. H. Munson— 1872. 

D. Phillips— 1862 to 1863. E. T. Gunn— 1873 to 1874. 

William Cock— 1864. Francis Tarbell— 1875 to 1880. 

Benjamin Harned— 1865. Thomas N. Ford— 1881 to 1886. 

James Tilton— 1866. William McMicken— 1886 to 1888. 

Benjamin Harned— 1867 to 1870. Frank I. Blodgett— 1888 to statehood. 

Hill Haimon— 1871. 




Urban E. Hicks— 1858 to 1859. 
A. J. Moses— 1859 to 1860. 
J. C. Head— 1860 to 1862. 
R. M. Walker— 1862 to 1864. 
Urban E. Hicks— 1865 to 1867. 
John M. Murphy— 1867 to 1870. 

J. G. Sparks— 1871. 

N. S. Porter— 1872. 

John M. Murphy— 1873 to 1874. 

John R. Wheat— 1875 to 1876. 

Thomas M. Reed— 1877 to 1888. 

J. M. Murphy— 1888 to statehood. 


Edward Lander— 1853 to 1858. 
O. B. McFadden— 1858 to 1861. 
C. C. Hewitt— 1861 to 1869. 
B. F. Dennison— 1869. 
William L. Hill— 1870. 
Orange Jacobs— 1871 to 1875. 

J. R. Lewis— 1875 to 1879. 
Roger S. Greene— 1879 to 1887. 
Richard A. Jones— 1887 to 1888. 
C. E. Boyle— 1888, died December. 
Thomas Burke— 1888 to 1889. 
C. H. Hanford— 1889 to statehood. 


Victor "Monroe — 1853. 
F. A. Chenoweth— 1853 to 1858. 
O. B. McFadden— 1853 to 1858. 
William Strong— 1858 to 1861. 
E. C. Fitzhugh— 1858 to 1861. 
J. E. Wyche— 1861 to 1870. 
E. P. Oliphant— 1861 to 1870. 
C. B. Darwin— 1867. 
B. F. Dennison— 1868. 
Orange Jacobs— 1869 to 1870. 

James K. Kennedy — 1870 to 1873. 
J. R. Lewis— 1873 to 1875. 
Roger S. Greene— 1871 to 1879. 
S. C. Wingard— 1875 to 1879. 
John P. Hoyt— 1879 to 1887. 
George Turner— 1884 to 1888. 
L. B. Nash— 1888 to 1889. 
W. G. Langford— 1886 to statehood. 
Frank Allyn — 1887 to statehood. 
W. H. Calkins— 1S89 to statehood. 


J. B. Metcalfe— 1888 to statehood. 

As giving a view of the conditions of this good land in which we live at 
the great turning point of induction into statehood, the addresses of the last 
territorial governor, Miles C. Moore, and the first state governor, Elisha P. 
Ferry, cannot fail to interest our readers of Yakima, Kittitas and Benton 
counties, along with those of all other sections, and we accordingly include them 
in this chapter. 

"Lest We Forget" 
Notable Addresses on Washington State Admission Day, November 11, 1889 


Ladies and Gentlemen : A custom has grown up here at the capital city 
and crystalHzed into unwritten law, which requires the retiring governor to de- 


liver his own valedictory, and also to salute the incomiiio' administration. In 
accordance with that custom I am here as the last of the race of territorial gov- 
ernors to say "Hail and farewell." Hail to the lusty young state of Washington, 
rising like a giant in its strength ; farewell to old territorial days. It is an occa- 
sion for reminiscence, for retrospection. To those of us who have watched at 
the cradle of Washington's political childhood, this transition to statehood has 
its pathetic side. It stirs within us memories of the "brave days of old." The 
past rises before us. . 

We see again the long line of white canvas-covered wagons leaving the 
fringe of settlements of the then western frontier, through tear-dimmed eyes 
we see them disappear down behind the western horizon, entered upon that vast 
terra incognita, the great American desert of our school days. At last we see 
them emerge, after months of weary travel upon the plains of eastern Washing- 
ton, or, later, hewing out paths in the wilderness, striving to reach that "Eden 
they call Puget Sound." Hither year after year came the pioneers and builded 
their homes and planted the symbols of their faith upon the -ban-k-s of your rivers, 
in the sun-kissed valleys of your Inland Empire, under the shadows of your 
grand mountains, and upon the shores of this vast inland sea. 

Very gradually we grew. The donation act passed by Congress, in 1^50, 
giving to each man and his wife who would settle thereon a square mile of land 
in this fertile region, attracted the first considerable immigration. It also prob- 
ably saved to the United States this Northwest territory. The entire popula- 
tion, which at the date of organization as a separate territory, in 1853, was. 
5,500, had grown to only 24,000 in 1870, and to 67,000 in 1880. 

Still with an abiding faith in the ultimate greatness of Washington, and 
the attractions of her climate, when her wealth of resources should become 
known, the old settler watched through the long years the gradual unfolding 
of these resources, the slow increase in population. At last the railroad came, 
linking us with the populous centers of civilization. They poured upon us a 
restless stream of immigration. A change came over the sleepy old territory. 
These active, pushing emigrants, the best blood of the older states, are leveling 
the forests, they are delving in the mines, they are tunneling the mountains, 
they are toiling in the grain fields, they are building cities, towns and villages, 
filling the heavens with the shining towers of religion and civilization. 

The old settler finds himself in the midst of a strange new age and almost 
uncomprehended scenes. The old order of things has passed away but your 
sturdy, self-reliant pioneer looks not mournfully into the past. He is with you 
in the living present, with you here today, rejoicing in the marvelous prosperity 
visible everywhere around him, rejoicing to see the empire which he wrested 
from savage foes become the home of a happy people, rejoicing to see that 
empire, emerged from the condition of territorial vassalage, put on the robes of 

We are assembled here to celebrate this event, the most important in the 
history of Washington, and to put in motion the wheels of the state government. 
Through many slow revolving years the people of Washington have waited for 
their exalted privileges. So quietly have they come at last, so quietly have we 


passed from political infancy to the manly strength and independence of state- 
hood, that we scarce can realize that we have attained the fruition of our hopes. 

Let us not forget in this hour of rejoicing the responsibility that comes 
with autonomy. Let us not forget that under statehood life will still have woes, 
that there will still be want and misery in this fair land of ours. To reduce 
these to the minimum is the problem of statesmanship. The responsibility rests 
largely with our lawmakers now assembled here. A good foundation has been 
laid in the adoption of an admirable constitution pronounced by an eminent 
authority "as good as any state now has and probably as good as any will ever 
get." Upon this you are to build the superstructure of the commonwealth by 
enacting laws for the millions who are to dwell therein. 

You have the storehouse of the centuries from which to draw, the crystal- 
lized experience of lawmakers from the days of Justinian down to present times. 
To fail to give us good laws will be to "sin against light." "Unto whomsoever 
much is given of him shall be much required." The eyes of all the people are 
upon you. It is hoped and confidently expected you will bring to the discharge 
of your duties wisdom, industry and lofty patriotism ; that when your work is 
done it will be found to have been well done ; that capital and labor will here 
have equal recognition and absolute protection : that here will arise an ideal 
commonwealth, the home of a race to match our mountains, worthy to wear 
the name of Washington. 

Now that I am about to surrender my trust and return to private life, I 
desire to testify to my grateful appreciation of the uniform kindness, forbear- 
ance and courtesy accorded me by the people of Olympia, j.nd by all the citizens 
of Washington, it has been my good fortune to meet during my brief term of 
office. I shall always cherish among the pleasant experiences of my life the 
seven months passed here as Washington's last territorial governor. 

To your governor-elect you need no introduction; if not a pioneer, he is 
at least an old settler. It is a graceful tribute to this class that one of their 
number was selected to be the first governor of the state. It affords me pleasure 
to testify to his thorough and absolute devotion to its interests. His every 
thought is instinct with love for the fair young state. I bespeak for him vour 
generous cooperation and assistance. 


Fellow citizens of the state of Washington: The 11th day of November, 
1889, will be a memorial epoch in our history. It will be known and designated 
as "Admission Day." Its anniversary will be celebrated and it may very prop- 
erly be placed among our legal holidays. On that day the territory- of Wash- 
ington, after an existence of more than thirty-six years, ceased to be, and in 
its place the state of Washington, the forty-second star in the national constella- 
tion, was called into being. Our minority and our deprivation of our most 
cherished and important rights and privileges of American citizens continued 
longer than we desired or was necessary. Many of those around me have 
looked forward to statehood through years added to years until they almost 
despaired of the realization of their hopes. 


To those whose residence in our commonvveahh has exi ended only through 
a short period, the inauguration of the first state government may not appear 
to be of great importance, but to those whose hair has grown white beneath 
this sky, to those who in early days crossed a continent by long and weary- 
marches ; to those who planted the standard of civilization and Christianity 
within its borders ; to those, the ever-to-be-remembered pioneers, it is an event 
of transcendent interest; to those it is the consummation of hopes long deferred 
yet ever renewed. It is the accomplishment of a result for which they have 
waited with anxious solicitude and which they now welcome with joy and satis- 

The inauguration of the state government which occurs today is also a 
most important event in the history of the commonwealth. It marks the end of 
one form of government and the beginning of another. So plain is the signifi- 
cance of the present hour and so evident is its import that those present, young 
and old alike, feel the weight of the great event and will in future years 
proudly refer to the fact that they saw the wheels of government of the state 
of Washington put in action for the first time and that they marked the moment 
the last act was performed by which the territory of Washington passed into 
history and the state of Washington entered upon its active governmental 

The territory of Washington was established March 2, 1853. Its bound- 
aries then were : The British possessions on the north ; the Rocky Mountains 
on the east ; the Columbia River and the forty-sixth parallel of north latitude 
on the south and the Pacific Ocean on the west. It was then almost an empire 
in extent. Those boundaries remained until the formation of the territory of 
Idaho, March 3, 1863, when our eastern boundary was changed to the 118th 
meridian, where it now remains. 

It is impossible at this time to give even a synopsis of the events which 
have occurred during our territorial life. The history of the territory remains 
to be written. To that we must look for an account of the dangers and hard- 
ships encountered by the early settlers; of the political events that transpired 
during the territorial period and of the gradual change of a wilderness inhab- 
ited by savages into a commonwealth possessing all the advantages of the high- 
est civilization. 

The years which have passed under the territorial government have been 
profitably employed. Washington has, during all this time, been growing 
stronger financially, commercially and politically. It has gained an enviable 
reputation. Its resources have been exhibited and its capabilities have been 
made known. Its ability to assume the responsibilities and bear the burdens 
of statehood are far greater than at any time in the past. Already it outranks 
several other states of the Union in population and wealth and is pressing for- 
ward with giant strides to that high position which it is destined to occupy. Our 
commonwealth enters upon statehood under circumstances that are most favor- 
able; under auspices which assure a prosperous future. Even,' branch of busi- 
ness is flourishing. For several years the tide of fortune has been with our 
citizens, and they have taken the treasure which has floated upon its bosom. 


The attention of the world has been attracted by our commercial facilities, 
by our agricultural and manufacturing advantages; by our resources of timber, 
coal, iron and the precious metals, and by our phenomenally pleasant climate. 
Capital and population are flowing in upon us in an apparently endless stream. 
Commerce, manufacturing and agriculture, the three great elements of a na- 
tion's prosperity, are on a firm basis, and the possibilities of their future devel- 
opment are boundless. 

Young and comparatively undeveloped as it is, Washington enters the 
Union the peer of any state and the superior of many. Only a few years of this 
century remain, but before they are gone Washington will be universally recog- 
nized as one of the greatest of the American states. 

It attains its majority and enters the Union well endowed. Owing to the 
generosity of its sister states, through their representatives in Congress, it has 
received more than half a million acres of land of the present value of more 
than five millions of dollars, in addition to the magnificent grant for the support 
of common schools. Washington is, therefore, not only wealthy in its resources 
and capabilities but in fact. The present, indeed, gives promise of a glorious 
future, and the past, too, adds its evidence to strengthen our hopes. The recent 
progress of Washington has been truly marvelous. Less than a decade since, 
its population was 75,000; now it is more than 300,000. 

The assessed value of its property was then $22,000,000; now it is $125,- 
000,000. Then only a few miles of railroad had been constructed within its. 
borders; now they penetrate to nearly every part of the state, and one trans- 
continental road extends from its eastern almost to its western boundary. Then. 
its largest city had less than 5,000 inhabitants ; now it has three cities each of 
which has more than 25,000. Truly the recent past gives promise of a future- 
which will realize our most sanguine anticipations. 

The state is now, practically, connected with the south and east by three 
transcontinental railroads, and there is every reason for hope that this nuinber 
will be increased, perhaps doubled, within a few years. With this increase will 
come manifest advantages. Freight and passenger rates between Wasliington: 
and the east will be materially decreased. New markets for our products will 
thus be opened, and the price of necessities of eastern manufacture will be re- 

With this increase of commercial advantages will come an increase in man^ 
ufactures and an increased remuneration for industry in the line of agriculture,, 
which always follows the growth of manufactures. Truly the prospect is en- 
couraging. It is such that the citizen of Washington can look upon his state. 
with pride and anticipation which can not be too great. 

But a forecast of the future of Washington which did not take into con- 
sideration the possibilities of its foreign commerce would be superficial and 
very incomplete. Already this is a source of revenue to its citizerrs, the im- 
portance of which can not be overestimated. Exports from Puget Sound are 
now carried to ports of all continents — North America, South America, Africa,. 
Asia, Europe and Australia — and to many of the islands of the Pacific 


The trade of Europe with the Orient, a trade which enriched every country 
that has engaged in it, is now insignificant in comparison with what it will be- 
come in the near future. The uncounted mihions of China and North Asia are 
beginning to awaken to the advantages of our civihzation. Year by year they 
accept more and more of the manufactured goods of Europe and America. 
Wheat is supplanting rice as a staple article of food. The Orient is looking to 
the Occident for its supplies. 

Here will spring up a trade which will vastly outmeasure the old Oriental 
trade (and it is fair to suppose that a reasonable proportion of this mighty 
stream of commerce will flow through Paget Sound, which is nearer by many 
thousand miles to the commercial cities of Asia than are the competing ports of 
Europe). The manufactured products of eastern America and the products of 
our own state will be exchanged here for the products of Asia. As a conse- 
quence of this trade, there will arise upon the waters of Paget Sound several 
commercial cities, one at least of which will rank with the great commercial 
cities of the world. 

The eastern portion of the state is unrivalled in the production of all the 
cereals and fruits indigenous to the temperate zones, and its productive capacity 
is almost incalculable. 

Are not these considerations sufficient to justify the citizens of Washing- 
ton in their firmly rooted belief that their state will ultimately be one of the 
foremost in the Union? 

The substitution of a state government for that of the territory imposes 
upon the citizens of Washington more solemn duties and graver responsibilities 
than those to which they have been accustomed. Hitherto the power of our 
legislature to enact laws has been limited and restricted by the organic act and 
the amendments thereto, and by the various laws that have been passed by Con- 
gress relating to the territories. 

Further than this. Congress reserved the right to annul any law passed by 
the territorial legislature which seemed to be unwise and injudicious. We had 
no voice in the selecting of our executive and judicial officers, and none in 
directing the course of the national government. Hereafter all will be changed. 
The powers of our legislature will be limited only by the constitution of the 
United States and that of the state of Washington. Our citizens will be on an 
equality with those of any other state of the Union, and rheir wishes will have 
due weight in determining the policy of the national government. 

We should therefore exercise a conscientious endeavor to bear well these 
new responsibilities and discharge faithfully the new duties which are ours, and 
prove ourselves worthy of the rights which we have secured. Let greater wis- 
dom accompany the greater power that we now possess. Let us discharge the 
additional duties devolving upon us in a manner that will redound to our credit, 
advance the welfare and prosperity of our state, and add importance and 
strength to the national Union. 

The constitution which has been adopted by our people and on which our 
state government must rest, although not universally approved, appears to be 
satisfactory to a great majority of our fellow citizens. No one should have 


anticipated a perfect constitution. An instrument of that character has never 
been, and never will be, devised. If the constitution is as perfect as could rea- 
sonably be expected, taking into consideration existing conflicting interests, and 
radical differences of opinion that are entertained upon many important govern- 
mental and other questions, then all should be content ; submit to the will of the 
majority and at least be willing to give the constitution a fair trial. 

Should, however, experience teach any of its provisions are unwise or 
others required, or that additional limitations upon legislative power are neces- 
sary, then let amendments be prepared in the manner provided. There are 
indications that this course is not satisfactory to all of our fellow citizens. 
Already amendments are suggested and agitated. This is not a good policy. 

No attempt to change the constitution should be made until time and ex- 
perience shall demonstrate that changes are advisable, and that suggested amend- 
ments would improve it and render it more satisfactory than it now is. Changes 
should not be countenanced or approved by any one who believes that the 
fundamental law should be reasonably permanent and who is willing that it be 
submitted to the test of experience. 

In addition to this, the state constitution is only a limitation upon legislative 
power, differing in his respect from the constitution of the United States, 
which is a grant of power. It is therefore to be presumed that in addition to 
the specified subjects in the constitution upon which the legislature is required 
to take action it will at its first session enact such laws as will remedy what, to 
many, may appear to be defects in that instrument. 

Within the past few months several of the largest cities in our common- 
wealth have suffered from disastrous conflagrations. In a few hours property 
of thei value of many millions of dollars, the accumulation of years, the pro- 
ceeds of lives of toil, was swept out of existence. To individuals in many in- 
stances these fires occasioned serious losses, and may be regarded as calami- 
ties, but the cities will sustain no permanent injury. They are being rapidly 
rebuilt, better and more substantial than before. The check to business was 
only temporary, and the population of each has increased without interruption. 

The undaunted courage, the indefatigable enterprise and the persevering 
energy displayed by the people of those cities under what were considered over- 
whelming misfortunes have excited admiration and astonishment throughout 
the continent and wherever the facts have become knov/n. These characteris- 
tics have been fully recognized and appreciated by foreign capitalists, who 
oft'ered loans to these cities to enable them to rebuild at less rates of interest 
than those formerly demanded. 

In this respect, as well as in others, these conflagrations have already 
shown themselves to be beneficial rather than calamitous. Great disasters bring 
out the true character of a people. 

With resources superior to those of any other equal ^rea, with a population 
as enterprising as it is courageous, with a climate which commends itself to all 
who experience it, occupying a position at the gateway of the Oriental and Oc- 
cidental commerce of the future, there is no reason why the state of Washing- 
ton should not in the near future take rank among the most prominent states 



of the Union, nor why our people should not enjoy the priceless blessings of 
prosperity, health and happiness. 

Having been elected by my fellow citizens to the office of governor of the 
state of Washington, I am about to take the prescribed oath and enter upon the 
discharge of my duties. I fully appreciate the dignity and honor of the posi- 
tion and am profoundly grateful to my fellow citizens for the confidence which 
they have reposed in me. At the same time I deeply realize the responsibilities 
that I assume and the difficulties and embarrassments with which I may be sur- 
rounded. Matters will necessarily come before me for action about which 
honest differences of opinion will be entertained by my tellow citizens. I can 
not hope that my course will be satisfactory to all, but I can sincerely assure 
you that at all times and under all circumstances my highest and best efforts 
will be directed to the promotion of the various interests of the people of the 
state of Washington. 


While, as indicated in the preface to this work, the author has not believed 
that it should be largely statistical, it seems fitting to close this chapter with a 
general view of the financial condition of the county. 

Such a view' will have a permanent value. We derive the following figures 
from the elaborate report of Auditor, Charles E. Barrett. 


Returned by Equalized by 

County Assessor County Board 

Value of Land Assessed $13,698,160 $13,680,380 

Value of Improvements 2.821,200 2,819,000 

Value of City and Town Lots 3,716,685 3,716,685 

Value of Improvements 3,849,175 3,848,015 

Value of Personal Property 5,120,540 5,108,700 

Value of Railroad Property (assessed by 

State Tax Commission) 823,502 Personal 823,502 

Assessed by State Tax Commission 4,223,256 Real 4,223,256 

Value of Telegraph Property (assessed by 

State Tax Commission) 9,593 Personal 9,593 

$34,262,111 $34,229,131 

Tax Levied on 1917 Rolls — Valuation Levy Tax 

State—General $34,229,131 1.235 $42,273.00 

School . 1.906 65,240.70 

Military 0.272 9,310.33 

Highway, Public .906 31,011.60 

Highway, Permanent 1.357 46,448.95 

University .670 22,933.51 

College .407 13,931.25 

Bellingham Normal .138 4,723.62 



Cheney Normal 

Ellensburg Normal 

Capitol Building Construction 

Total State Tax 

County — Current Expense $34,229,131 

Bond Sinking Fund 

County School 

General Road and Bridge 

Soldiers Relief 

Cities, Road, Dike and Drainage Districts — 

N. Yakima Dist. "A" Valuation 


N. Yakima Dist. "B" Valuation $ 347,205 

N. Yakima Dist. "C" Valuation 6,575,829 

N. Yakima Dist. "D" Valuation 1,223,328 

Yakima City 103,135 

Wapato 218,295 

Toppenish A 791,151 

Toppenish B 17,775 

Toppenish C 38,080 

Toppenish D 47,085 

Mabton 257,285 

Granger 187,595 

Sunnyside 610,374 

Grandview 292,650 

Zillah 227,450 

.118 4,039.03 

.098 3,354.45 

.453 15,505.80 

Total Valuation of Cities $10,937,237 

Road Dist. No. 1 $ 5,692,302 

Road Dist. No. 2 2,207,623 

Road Dist. No. 3 4,462,490 

Road Dist. No. 4 1,778,710 

Road Dist. No. 5 1,717,300 

Road Dist. No. 6 2,400,523 

Road Dist. No. 8 2,347,145 

Road Dist. No. 9 2,685,801 

Total Valuation of Road and Bridge-$23,291,894 

Dike No. 1 

Dike Dist. No. 3 

Drainage Dist. No. 5 

Drainage Dist. No. 7 































































$ 2,500.00 





Drainage Dist. No. 10 1,000.00 

Drainage Dist. No. 11 7,583.83 

Total Dike and Drainage Dists._ $ 13,985.89 

*Valuation not included in totals (for City Bond Tax only). 


Bond, Int. High 

General & Red. School Total 

District No. Valuation Levy Fund District Levy Tax 

2 $ 393,715 8.80 .25 9.05 $ 3,563.14 

3 228,880 10.00 1.76 11.76 2,691.68 

5 496,355 4.34 .91 5.25 2,605.91 

6 204,565 10.00 5.00 .42 15.42 3,154.43 

7 9,480,180 5.22 3.26 8.48 80,391.99 

8 84,010 5.07 .30 .28 5.65 474.66 

9 114,035 6.32 2.91 9.23 1,052.53 

10 366,475 10.00 2.35 .11 12.46 4,566.32 

11 96,460 8.23 1.27 9.50 916.43 

14 258,535 10.00 4.17 .76 14.93 3,860.00 

15 210,810 3.35 3.35 706.21 

24 37,230 10.00 10.00 372.30 

25 441,020 4.40 1.14 5.54 2,443.25 

26 901,470 3.23 .42 .14 3.79 3,416.63 

28 924,565 4.96 1.37 1.53 7.86 7,267.13 

29 80,160 4.14 3.44 7.58 607.60 

31 353,053 6.69 .79 .11 7.59 2,679.73 

32 735,230 7.71 3.54 11.25 8,271.44 

33 377,265 3.41 1.56 4.97 1,875.10 

34 610,783 10.00 1.89 11.89 7,262.26 

35 294,735 1.98 .99. 2.97 875.36 

36 1,014,185 7.92 2.89 10.81 10,963.40 

37 359,340 3.13 3.13 1,124.75 

39 1,662,410 4.06 4.14 8.20 13,631.76 

42 192,670 7.15 3.58 10.73 2,067.36 

49 2,134,981 5.21 4.62 9.83 20,986.93 

50 459,675 8.54 2.31 10.85 4,987.50 

51 320,125 5.98 3.46 .09 9.53 3,050.83 

52 88,610 4.58 .84 .86 6.28 556.47 

54 1.454,370 7.21 3.04 10.25 14,907.53 

57 235.685 7.24 .81 .48 8.53 2,010.44 

61 46.950 1.88 1.88 88.28 

63 1,686,579 9.42 4.45 13.87 23,392.88 

67 75,190 2.33 2.33 175.20 

73 53,540 3.90 3.90 208.81 

74 60,945 7.71 .83 .60 9.14 557.06 




























' 661.94 

Bond, Int. High 
General & Red. School 

District No. 















Fund District 


























Total Valuation - 



Bro't fwd. from page 1. 
Bro't fwd. from page 2- 
Bro't fwd. from page 3. 


From Taxation 

General $ 57.692.61 

School , 66,603.41 

Military '. --. 6.218.91 

Highway, Public 31,367.20 

.$ 683,898.07 
. 387,103.07 
. 317,205.37 



Highway, Permanent 47,005.07 

Higher Education 33,314.89 

Total $242,202.09 


Current Expense $147,160.71 

School 133,426.61 

Road and Bridge 68,329.43 

Indigent Soldiers 866.96 

Bond Redemption 23,808.81 

Horticuhure 158.14 

Total $373,710.66 


Yakima $150,816.78 

Union Gap 1,014.14 

Wapato 2,634.79 

Toppenish 20,300.28 

Mabton 4,345.09 

Granger 2.922.97 

Sunnyside 12,454.57 

Grandview 3,314.24 

Zillah 2,634-.12 

Total $200,426.98 

Road Districts $133,638.88 

Drainage Districts (Construction) 8,017.59 

Dike Districts 1,096.22 

Schools— Special Tax 219,740.29 

Schools— Bond Redemption 77,070.45 

Drainage Districts — Maintenance 5,284.32 

Drainage Districts — Bond Interest 5,764.84 

GRAND TOTAL— Tax Collections $1,266,952.32 

Detail of Receipts From Miscellaneous Sources 

AUDITOR'S OFFICE— Fund Credited Detail 

Filing and Recording C. E. $14,332.95 

Marriage Licenses (Auditor's $2 fee only) C. E. 1,117.00 

Sundry Licenses C. E. 3.00 

Certified Copies C. E. 134.45 

Searching Records C. E. 17.25 

Satisfactions C. E. 145.75 

Acknowledgments and Affidavits C. E. 805.75 

Estrays Registered C. E. 27.50 


Certificates C. E. 100.50 

Liquor Permits C. E. 5,061.50 

Miscellaneous C. E. 5.90 

Auto Licenses C. E. 495.00 

Total Earnings $ 22,246.55 

Trust Assurance Fund .60 

Hunters' Licenses — County County Game 7,466.50 

Hunters' Licenses — State State Game 1,008.50 

Total $ 8,475.60 

Clerk's $1.00 Marriage License Recording Fee--$56O.0O 


Civil Earnings C. E. ,$7,903.00 

Civil Miscellaneous C. E. 370.45 

Notarial Certificates C. E. 87.00 

Marriages C. E. 602.60 

Transcript on Appeal C. E. 201.80 

Probate Fees Earned C. E. 1,637.00 

Probate Miscellaneous C. E. 156.45 

Criminal Earned C. E. 312.40 

Total $ 11.270.70 

Court Stenographer's Cost C. E. $1,397.00 $ 1,397.00 


Issuing Tax Deeds C. E. .$ 90.00 

Certificates of Delinquency C. E. 371.00 

Total $ 461.00 


Deeds C. E. $ 348.00 

Fees C.E. 1,315.75 

Mileage C.E. 1,399.95 

Total $ 3,063.70 

Justice of the Peace— Fees C.E. $ 1,211.95 

Fines — Humane C. E. 45.00 

Coroner's Fees C.E. 3.20 

County Justices C. E. 39.00 

Auditor — (Marriage Trust Fund) — Old 

Unrecorded C.E. 13.00 

Miscellaneous Licenses C.E. 150.00 

Constable's Office — Fees C. E. 349.00 


Gen'l Road and Bridge— Sales Gen'l R. & B. $5,881.22 

Refunds " 1,339.20 

Rents " 75.70 

Forest Reserve " 2,007.83 9,303.95 

Fines Permanent Highway P. H. 700.00 

Fines State School State School 3,706.20 

County Hospital— Receipts of State Medical State Gen. 30.00 4,436.20 
Permanent Highway Maintenance — From 

State P. H. M. 23,557.35 

Refunds P. H. M. 6.75 23,564.10 

Costs— Criminal Cases from State C. E. 1,222.00 1,222.00 

Permanent Highway— Refunds P. H. 140.00 140.00 

Fines Game 381.68 

Sales Game 2.02 383.70 


Schools— Tuition from Outside Pupils Dist. S. S3,472.99 

Sale of Property 742.15 

Sale of Sundry Supplies 120.15 

Book Fines 26.65 

Proceeds from Entertainments 23.50 

Forest Reserve 1,400.00 

Refunds 23.93 

Investments 166.72 

Benton County Taxes — Joint Districts 655.81 

Benton County Bond Redemption Taxes 247.68 

Total $ 6,879.58 

Examinations Institute 239.00 239.00 

Sale of Registers and Records State Gen. 28.20 28.20 

School Bonds Sold 159,185.00 159,185.00 

Interest Earned on Bond Redemption Fund Bond Red. 480.82 480.82 

Miscellaneous Fines State Gen. 25.00 25.00 

State Apportionment (Am't remitted by 

State only) State G. Sch. 67,166.82 67,166.82 


Yakima Cities $ 85.31 

Wapato Cities 8.47 

Toppenish Cities 1,656.87 

Granger Cities 7.42 

Sunnyside Cities 3,550.38 

Grandview Cities 1,344.50 

Zillah Cities 58.42 $ 6,711.37 

Total $328,491.44 



Rent of County Property C. E. 5.00 

Sale of County Property C. E. 442.60 

Interest of Bank Deposits C. E. 11,054.01 

Game Protection Fines (other than by J or C State Game) 14.30 

Donations to County C. E. 142.94 

Money found on Deceased Persons C. E. .89 

Road Districts— Sale of property Dist. R. & B. 213.75 

Donations 482.04 

Refunds Dist. R. & B. 5.704.65 

Mail Accounts Mail 225,867.48 

Certificates of Redemption Funds Redemption 139,164.47 

Tax Sales Tax Trust 953.58 

Sales of Estrays C. E. 135.97 

Advance Taxes (Platting Property) Adv. Tax 369.47 

Investments C. E. 112.41 

County Poor Farm Sales " 2,722.69 

Refunds " 9,656.46 

Refunds— Horticultural " 3,538.77 

Board of Prisoners " 355.50 

Unclaimed Tax Deposits— Old " 75.02 

Drainage — Construction — Assessments Drainage 14,977.18 

Sales " 52.80 

Sale of Bonds " 229,821.58 

Sale of Investment Warrants " 12,000.00 

Maintenance Assessments " 7,141.17 

Refunds " 30.00 

Bond Redemption Assessments " 52,893.87 

Interest " 1,174.33 

Refunds " 88.67 

Irrigation — Construction — Assessments Irrigation 45,861.01 

Sales Water Rights " 3,077.65 

Refunds " 54.70 

Maintenance Assessments " 38,050.01 

Sales " 870.27 

Refunds _^ " 72.75 

Bond Redemption Assessments 9,167.89 

Dike Maintenance Refunds Dike 80.43 

Total $ 816,426.31 

Total Misc. Receipts $1,144,917.75 

Interest on Del. Taxes— $ 39,819.04 



Cash Balance Januar}' 1, 1917 $ 433,662.46 

Receipts from Taxation 1,266,952.32 


Interest on Delinquent Taxes 39,819.04 

Miscellaneous Receipts 1,144,917.75 

Total $2,885,351.57 


State Funds Remitted $ 181,.S74.47 

Current Expense Fund Warrants 221,409.58 

Indigent Soldiers' Fund 711.20 

Game Fund 6,369.77 

County Institute Fund 220.27 

General Road and Bridge Fund 95,359.46 

School Districts General Fund 442.053.97 

School Bond Redemption Fund 155,705.61 

School Building Fund 73,349.52 

Cities and Towns 209,857.35 

Certificates of Redemption 138,980.20 

Three Per Cent. Rebate on Current Taxes 12,161.19 

Advance Taxes 1,032.70 

County Bond Redemption Fund 8.000.00 

Interest Paid on County Warrants 72,412.33 

Road District Warrants 147,027.70 

Drainage District Warrants 73,997.80 

Dike District Warrants 2,955.20 

Irrigation District Warrants 88,388.95 

Permanent Highway Maintenance Warrants 21,987.81 

Mail Account Paid 205,593.61 

Remitted Cities, Acc't General Road and Bridge Fund 1 ,283.56 

Irrigation Bonds Redeemed 1,900.00 

Warrants Outstanding Jan. 1, 1917— Less Cancelled- 321,009.33 

Total $2,483,341.58 

Auditor's Balance Dec. 31, 1917 402,009.99 

Warrants Outstanding Dec. 31, 1917 124,918.48 

Treasurer's Cash Balance Dec. 31, 1917 $ 526,928.47 


So much has been said and written about the annual production for export 
in the Yakima Valley that the trustees of the Yakima Commercial Club feel it 
incumbent to make an authoritative statement giving the totals of the 1917 
shipments accurately compiled, and disseminate other information concerning 
that part of the valley covered by the report. There has never been a greater 
inquiry than at present concerning Yakima Valley and this publication is de- 
signed to cover a range of the most frequent questions asked. 


The Yakima Valley in its broadest sense includes all the watershed of the 
Yakima River, but in an accepted sense it has come to be restricted to that por- 
tion contained in Yakima and Benton counties, more especially that portion under 
irrigation. A carefully revised report of the range and value of the crops grown 
in this section given in detail in this publication shows a total of over $28,000,000. 
It is doubtful if any similar area in the United States can make an equal showing. 
Yakima Valley, with its present splendid development and its future promise, 
is the product of irrigation. One of the greatest government reclamation proj- 
ects is directly responsible for the Yakima Valley of today and tomorrow, and 
if there were no other monument ever erected to the honor of this branch of the 
government, the department could point with pride to this achievement. 

Under irrigation a sagebrush plain has been converted into one of the 
most fertile and productive agricultural sections of the world. The irrigation 
possible in the whole of the Yakima Valley as established after a most care- 
ful survey by government engineers is 525,000 acres. Of this total 360,000 
acres are in Yakima County and 75,000 acres in Benton County, the remainder 
being in Kittitas County, the production and export of which territory is not 
considered in this publication. 

Irrigation in the Yakima Valley is being developed under government 
guaranty. The lands are privately owned and moderately priced, ranging 
from $150 to $250 per acre for farm lands, and from $350 to $1,000 for 
orchard lands, but the government furnishes the water, asking only such return 
as is occasioned by the cost of construction and maintenance. The payment 
for the water on the government projects is distributed over a period of twenty 
years under the liberal terms of the law of 1914, which requires only the re- 
payment of the principal without interest. 

The whole of the government reclamation work in this valley is officially 
designated as the Yakima Project, but it is divided into xmits known locally as 
the Sunnyside, Tieton and Wapato Projects. The source of water supply is 
the Yakima River and its tributaries, and to obviate any possibility of shortage 
the government has included in its plans the construction of five great reservoirs 
located at Bumping Lake, Lake Kachess, Lake Keechelus, AIcAllister Meadows 
and Lake Clealum. The first three have been completed and the fourth is now 
in process of construction. In addition to the irrigation work done by the 
Reclamation Service there are numerous canals under private and corporate 
ownership. The total area watered in this way is approximately 50.000 acres. 

The Sunnyside Project is the oldest of the government units in point of 
development. The government took over the Sunnyside by purchase in 1905 
and has expended $2,500,000 in its development. The canal is of earth, but 
has been recently improved in sections by concrete lining. Aside from lands 
watered by gravity flow, there have been added from lime to time pumping 
plant units, the most recent being at Snipes Mountain, Outlook and Grand- 
view. Of the 130,000 acres that may be watered from the Sunnyside either 
directly or indirectly, 90,000 acres are now in crop for the season of 1918. The 
government crop report for the season of 1917 gave a total value of $8,006,233 
for the production on 65,853 acres, an average of $121.67 per acre. 


The Tieton Project is designed to irrigate 32,000 acres on the high lands 
west of Yakima. The government has made a total expenditure of $3,500,000 
in developing this project and contemplates some additional improvements in 
the near future. About 26,000 acres of the Tieton Project is now producing. 
The canal was completed in 1912 and the orchards on the project are just 
coming into bearing. A branch of the Northern Pacific Railway was completed 
last year tapping the heart of the Tieton and solving its transportation prob- 
lems. The terminus of the road is at Tieton, which tjwnsite is now being 
placed on the market. 

The Wapato Project is on the Yakima Indian reservation and is designed 
to irrigate 120,000 acres. For the season of 1918, 75,000 jcres will be cropped. 
Congress has recently passed an appropriation bill carrying $500,000 for ex- 
penditure on the Wapato Project within the present fiscal year. This will be 
used in extending canals to improve the system of distribution that new 
areas may be watered. Engineers in charge of the work estimate that an addi- 
tional 20,000 acres will be furnished with water for the season of 1919. The 
Indian Reclamation Service spent in the last two years $400,000 in building 
a diversion dam in the Yakima River at Union Gap and in beginning the im- 
provement of the canal system. Aside from the development of the Wapato 
project under water diverted from the Yakima River, the government plans 
ultimately to reclaim an additional 60,000 acres by water from storage reser- 
voirs located on Toppenish, Simcoe and Ahtanum creeks. 

Development in the Yakima Valley is progressive, and will continue for 
the next ten years or more, depending upon the rate at which the government 
will appropriate money to mature its plans. There is no single project that is 
yet completed. There are 20,000 acres under the Sunnyside still to be re- 
claimed, though water is available and the distributive system completed. On 
the Tieton Project there are 6,000 acres of sagebrush land and on the Wapato 
Project 47,000 acres. Under the Sunnyside and the Tieton it is possible for 
every acre to be put in crop in 1919, and it is estimated thr.t 6,500 acres of new 
land will be cropped in the present year, while under the Wapato Project the 
government is still developing the distributing system. Water is available, but 
canals and laterals must be excavated. 

As an indication of preparation flor progressive development of the 
Yakima Project, the government is spending this year over $1,500,000 in con- 
structive work distributed as follows: $500,000 on the Wapato Project, 
$150,000 on the Tieton, $35,000 at Clear Creek dam and $900,000 at McAllister 
Meadows storage. Private corporations are spending something like $400,000 
in betterments. Several of the private corporations ha\e contracted with the 
Reclamation Service for storage water supplementing! their own diversions 
and guarding the future against losses by reason of shortage. To date the 
government has spent about $10,000,000 on the Yakima Project and contem- 
plates spending $10,000,000 more within the next ten or twenty years. 

Large as the crop production was in 1917, increased acreage in farm crops 
on the one hand and increased maturity of orchards on the other insures larger 
crops for 1918 and for any normal year for many years to come. In the 


matter of possibilities of fruit production alone Yakima Valley has 6,000 acres 
of orchard not yet come into bearing. A farm survey of Yakima County 
made by J. N. Price, county agriculturist, shows there is in crop this season 
85,000 acres of alfalfa, 15,500 acres of corn, 32,000 acres of wheat, 14,000 
acres of sugar beets, 12,000 acres of potatoes, 3,000 acres of oats, 7,000 acres 
of barley, 2,400 acres of beans and 46,000 acres of fruit. With this acreage 
all under irrigation and intensive cultivation, the yield of the 1918 harvest is 
certain to set a new high record for production. 

The following tabulated statement of Yakima export crops for the year 
1917 is made after careful checking with the transportation companies on the 
basis of actual shipments and rechecking with shippers ?s to the average re- 
turns. The tabulation shows the range and value of the exports only and does 
not take into consideration the part of the crop consumed at home or crops 
grown to feed stock subsequently marketed. For instance, it takes no account 
of the corn grown on 14,000 acres which was used for feed for meat or for 
dairy production, nor does it take into account the tonnage of sugar beets, but 
it does account for the output of the sugar factory. 


We are giving at the conclusion of this chapter a summary of the pro- 
ductions of Yakima and Benton counties for 1917. This was prepared by the 
Yakima Commercial Club. We are not able to segregate accurately the two 
counties, but it may be believed that the totals of each county would be approx- 
imately in the ratio of population, or about as five and a half to one for 

Cars FRUIT— 

60 Strawberries— 48,000 crates @ $3 $ 144,000 

160 Cherries— 1,200 tons @ 8c pound 192.000 

170 Prunes— 170,000 crates @ 87c 147,500 

8,700' Apples— 6,525,000 boxes @ $1.25 8,156,250 

1.750 Peaches— 2,100,000 boxes @ 50c 1,050,000 

1,950 Pears— 994,500 boxes @ $1.30 1,292,850 

7 Apricots— 7,700 boxes @ $1 7,700 

10 Grapes @ $600 per car 6,000 

480 Mixed Fruit @ $775 per car 372,000 

240 Cantaloupes— 96,000 crates @ $1.25 120,000 

120 Watermelons— 1,800 tons @ $20 36.000 

13,647 $11,524,300 


200 Onions— 3,000 tons @ $40 $ 120,000 

40 Turnips— 600 tons @ $20 12.000 

10 Green Corn @ $525 per car 5,250 

20 Carrots— 300 tons @ $18 5.400 

25 Rutabagas— 500 tons @ $20 10.000 

12 Cabbage— 144 tons @ $30 4,320 



5 Asparagus— 100,000 lbs. @ ^12>4<: 12,500 

75 Tomatoes— 85,050 crates @ 50c 42,525 

10 Green Peppers— 200,000 lbs. @ 5c lo'oOO 

20 Squash— 200 tons @ $20 4,000 

10 Pumpkins— 100 tons @ $15 1,500 

30 Beans— 600 tons @ 6c lb. 72,000 

2,500 Potatoes— 50,000 tons @ $20 1,000^000 

Garden Truck — miscellaneous 25,000 

2,957 $ 1,324.495 

9,353 Alfalfa— 140,295 tons @ $21 $ 2,946,195 

12,000 tons fed to stock in transit @ $15 180,000 

$ 3,126,195 

546 Wheat— 764,750 bu. @ $1.90 $ 1,453,025 

60 Oats— 84,000 bu. @ 80c 67,200 

44 Barley— 61,600 bu. @ $1.15 70,840 

650 $ 1,591,065 

158 3,000,000 lbs. @ 12c $ 360,000 


1,015 Sheep @ $2,750 per car $ 2,791,250 

240 Hogs @ $2,700 per car 648,000 

210 Beef @ $2,200 per car 462,000 

40 Cattle, breeder's stock, 1000 head @ $125 125,000 

40 Horses, 880 head @ $150 132,000 

6 Pouhry— 90,000 lbs. @ 21^c 19,500 

1,551 Total Livestock $ 4,177,750 


72 Wool— 2,300,000 lbs. @ 45c $ 1,035,000 

16 Hides, Pelts and Tallow 190,000 

88 Total Livestock Products $ 1,225,000 


233 Cream— 350,000 gallons @ $1.20 $ 420,000 

30 Butter— 1,200,000 lbs. @ 45c 540,000 

8 Cheese— 300,000 lbs. @ 25c 75,000 

75 Condensed Milk— 1,500 tons @ $200 300,000 

346 Total Dairy Products $ 1,335,000 



285 Sugar— 8,550 tons @ 614c lb $ 1,068,750 

206 Dried Pulp— 3,100 tons @ $25 77,500 

491 Total Sugar Beet Products $ 1,146,250 

25 750,000 lbs. @ ll^c $ 88,125 

635 Enumerated as follows: 

400 cars Canned Fruits 
130 cars Cider 
65 cars Dried Apples 
40 cars Grape Juice 

Value $ 1,277,375 

1,500 LUMBER $ 1,000,000 

31,401 $28,175,555 

It is believed by tbe secretary of the Yakima Commercial Club that the total 
product for 1918 will be $35,000,000. 

We may add to the above that the figures of the state bureau of statistics 
for 1918 are not yet complete. For wheat, corn and potatoes, however, they 
are given as follows : Wheat, 1,104,200 bushels ; corn, 690,900 bushels ; pota- 
toes, 2,059,025 bushels. These figures, it should be noted, are for Yakima 
County only. We shall give those of Benton County in a later chapter. 

The bureau of statistics estimated the population of Yakima County as 
62,043 on July 1, 1917. 





It is but trite and commonplace to say (yet these commonplace sayings 
embody the accumulated experience of the human race) that transportation is 
the very A B C of economic science. There can be no wealth without ex- 
change. There is no assignable value either to commodities or labor without 

New communities have always had to struggle with these fundamental 
problems of transportation. Until there can be at least some exchange of 
products there can be no real commercial life and men's labor is spent simply 
on producing the articles needful for daily bread, clothing and shelter. Most 
of the successive "Wests" of America have gone through that stage of simple 
existence. Some have gotten out of it very rapidly, usually by the discovery 
of the precious metals or the production of some great staple like furs, so 
much in demand and so scarce in distant countries as to justify expensive and 
even dangerous expeditions and costly transportation systems. During nearly 
all the first half of the Nineteenth Century the fur trade was that agency 
which created exchange and compelled transportation. 

After the acquisition of Oregon and California by the United States 
there was a lull, during which there was scarcely any commercial life because 
there was nothing exchangeable or transportable. 

Then suddenly came the dramatic discovery of gold in California which 
inaugurated there a new era of commercial life and hence demanded exten- 
sive transportation, and that was for many years necessarily by the ocean. 
The similar discovery in Oregon came ten years later. As we saw in an earlier 
chapter of this part there came on suddenly in the early sixties a rushing to- 
gether in old Walla \\'alla of a confused mass of eager seekers for gold, cattle 
range, and every species of the opportunities which were thought to exist in 
the "upper country." As men began to get the measure of the country and 
each other and to see sometliing of what this land was going to become, the 
demand for some regular system of transportation became imperative. 


The first resource was naturally by the water. It was obvious that team- 
ing from the Willamette Valley (the only productive region in the fifties and 


the first year or two of the sixties) was too limited a means to amount to any- 
thing. Bateaux after the fashion of the Hudson's Bay Company would not 
do for the new era. JNIen could indeed drive stock over the mountains and 
across the plains, and did so to considerable degree. But as the full measure 
of the problem was taken it became clear to the active, ambitious men who 
flocked into the Walla Walla country (the first settled east of the Cascades) 
in 1858, 1859, and 1860, and particularly when the discovery of gold became 
known in 1861, that nothing but the establishment of steamboats on the Colum- 
bia and Snake rivers would answer the demand for a real system of transpor- 
tation commensurate with the situation. 

To fully appreciate the era of steamboating and to revive the memories 
of the pioneers of this region in those halcyon days of river traffic, it is fitting 
that we trace briefly the essential stages from the first appearance of steamers 
on the Columbia River and its tributaries. To accomplish this section of the 
story we are incorporating here several paragraphs from "The Columbia 
River" by the author of this work. 

The first river steamer of any size to ply upon the Willamette and Colum- 
bia was the "Lot Whitcomb." This steamer was built by Whitcomb and Jen- 
nings. J. C. Ainsworth was the first captain, and Jacob Kamm was the first 
engineer. Both of these men became leaders in every species of steamboating 
enterprise. In 1861 Dan Bradford and B. B. Bishop inaugurated a movement 
to connect the up-river region with the lower river by getting a small iron 
propeller called the "Jason F. Flint" from the east and putting her together 
at the Cascades, whence she made the run to Portland. The Flint has been 
named as first to run above the Cascades, but the author has the authority of 
Mr. Bishop for stating that the first steamer to run above the Cascades was 
the "Eagle." That steamer was brought in sections by Allen McKinley to 
the upper Cascades in 1853, there put together, and set to plying on the part 
of the river between the Cascades and The Dalles. In 1854 the "Mary" was 
built and launched above the Cascades, the next year the "Wasco" followed, 
and in 1856 the "Hassalo" began to toot her jubilant horn at the precipices 
of the mid-Columbia. In 1859 R. R. Thompson and Lawrence Coe built the 
"Colonel Wright," the first steamer on the upper section of the river. In the 
same year the same men built at the upper Cascades a steamer called the 
"Venture." This craft met with a curious catastrophe. For on her very first 
trip she swung too far into the channel and was carried over the upper Cas- 
cades, at the point where the Cascade locks are now located. She was sub- 
sequently raised and rebuilt, and rechristened the "Umatilla." 

This part of the period of steamboat building was contemporary' with the 
Indian wars of 1855 and 1856. The steamers "Wasco," "Mary," and "Eagle" 
were of much service in rescuing victims of the murderous assault on the Cas- 
cades by the Klickitats. 

While the enterprising steamboat builders were thus making their way 
up-river in the very teeth of Indian warfare steamboats were in course of 
construction on the Willamette. The "Jennie Clark" in 1854 and the "Carrie 
Ladd" in 1858 were built for the firm of Abernethy, Clark and Company. 
These both, the latter especially, were really elegant steamers for the time. 


E. H. Monreh. 



The close of the Indian wars in 1859 saw a quite well organized steamer 
service between Portland and The Dalles, and the great rush into the upper 
country was just beginning. The "Senorita," the "Belle," and the "Alult- 
nomah," under the management of Benjamin Stark, were on the run from 
Portland to the Cascades. A rival steamer, the "Mountain Buck," owned by 
Ruckle and